Another massive reduction in the Korean shipbuilding workforce may come as most shipyards are still struggling with falling orders and mounting losses, reports Yonhap quoting industry sources.
Hyundai Heavy Industries plans for large layoffs amid a prolonged recession in the global shipbuilding sector and the government’s move to restructure the ailing industry.
Over the past few weeks, the troubled world’s No. 1 shipbuilder is rumored to be planning an additional cut of 3,000 employees -- most likely from its production line -- in the form of voluntary retirement programs. The firm already cut around 60 executives in April and around 1,500 office workers last year.
The Korea Herald reports that the company’s spokesperson denied rumors of an imminent layoff plan, but said, “We are considering diverse ways to streamline the business although nothing has been confirmed.”
The speculation came as Hyundai Heavy -- along with two other shipbuilding giants Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering -- has continued to see weak ship orders in the sluggish shipbuilding market globally.
Meanwhile workers at shipyards of Hyundai Heavy Industries, located in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province, raised concerns over a possible massive layoff on Friday, insisting that CEOs and executives have to be responsible for their poor management before considering a workforce reduction or downsizing.
Hyundai Heavy's local rivals are also expected to sharply reduce their workforces this year, with their subcontractors being forced to follow suit.
Samsung Heavy Industries Co. has been implementing an early retirement scheme since last year, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., is working to streamline its business lines through a spin-off.