The entire workforce of the Rousse Shipyard is being laid off until further notice as of April 27, the press service of the company has said, as reported by Dnevnik daily.
The shipyard has temporarily ceased operations because of serious delays in deliveries of raw materials that the company needs to maintain production.
Eight hundred people are directly employed by the shipyard, but in total more than 1200 people will be affected – including auxiliary services and companies, support and logistical personnel. Furthermore, there is additional tension in the company because of delays in payment of salaries. The company media statement said that salaries would be paid in full over the Orthodox Christian Easter holidays, which are from April 18 to 20 2009.
The shipyard, Rousse Shipyard Beteiligungsgesellschaft GmbH, is a German-owned firm. One of the company's executives, Johan Breme, arrived in Rousse on April 16 in an attempt to defuse the escalating tension that arose from salaries not having been paid. According to unofficial information, the trouble emerged for the first time at the turn of 2009 because of a failed bank credit.
The company is set to fulfill its obligations by the end of the year, constructing ships with 8000 tons of water displacement capacity, designated for the European market – "demand in Europe for ships of such capacity has remained stable which is potentially good for the company," according to Ignat Traikov, executive of the Rousse Shipyard company.
"This sort of ships remain largely unaffected by the economic crisis because there is no need to ensure that they are carrying freight for both journeys. Such ships have relatively low maintenance costs as well," he said.
Two and a half months ago, Rousse Shipyards rolled out a new vessel designated for the Dutch Scheepvaartbedrijf Schot C.V.
Source: The Sofia Echo