The Dutch shipbuilding and repair company Damen Shipyards has announced that it will cut 150 jobs by the summer of 2017 at three of its maintenance and repair facilities; Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam and Damen Shiprepair Van Brink both in the Rotterdam area, and Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen in south-west Netherlands. The job cuts are in response to the crisis in the offshore sector following the low oil prices. Earlier job cuts job have already taken place within a number of other Dutch shipbuilding companies such as Royal IHC, Keppel Verolme, and Heerema Fabrication Group.
The job cuts at Damen will affect permanent employees at all levels within the organisation. The company will negotiate a redundancy package with the unions for employees losing their jobs. The family-owned Damen Shipyards Group has 33 shipyards worldwide and employs some 9,000 employees, of whom 3,000 are in the Netherlands.
A statement from Damen said, ‘Large-scale market fluctuations are common for the ship repair sector – within which the Damen Shipyards Group has been active for over 40 years. The strategy of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) focusses on diversification as well as developing new product/market combinations. However, the oil and gas market has decreased in such a way that has left DSC unable to fill the void with other activities.
'The market expectations for the short and medium term are not positive. There is no recovery in sight for commodity prices in general and oil and gas prices in particular and the resulting reduction in ship repair projects forces DSC to review its situation. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this, is downsizing the number of permanent staff in all layers of the organisation, as well as reducing facility costs.
'The strategy of DSC towards the future remains focused on expansion and further diversification of its product range, where it will continue to offer solutions matching the changing requirements of customers and markets. All employees at the three locations, as well as the workers’ council and trade unions, have been informed about the intention to reorganise. It is the intention of DSC to complete the reorganisation before summer 2017. DSC will continue to offer all customers the high levels of service and quality they are used to receiving at DSC yards. DSC is convinced that, as a result of these measures, it will reinforce, and where possible even extend, its position within the worldwide ship repair market.'