Viking Line layoffs could see up to 200 people affected

Finnish shipping line Viking is to start cooperation negotiations in September with land-based staff in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and the Aland Islands, with a view to carrying out a reorganization that may entail redundancies or work time cuts affecting up to 200 employees.

Viking Line plans to reorganize the functions of its onshore organization in order to cut costs, improve operational efficiency and safeguard the company's future competitiveness and financial position, the company said in a press release on Monday.

To minimize the negative effects caused by the coronavirus situation, Viking Line will reorganize the onshore organization by adapting staff resources to the weaker demand. The negotiations will affect all of the company's onshore staff of about 570 people in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and the Aland Islands - an autonomous region of Finland.

The reorganization is expected to lead to restructuring, downsizing, centralization and streamlining of some functions as well as changes in some employees' job descriptions to better meet the company's current and future needs. The planned measures are expected to result in a shift to part-time jobs, layoffs or redundancies, for up to 200 people.   

Inno Borodenko, manager of Viking Line Eesti, said that the company's onshore personnel in Estonia consists of 72 people.

Borodenko told BNS: "It is clear that the decision concerns the future work life of all employees of the Estonian organization, yet personally I predict that the negotiations will take a couple of months, since our work processes are very much intertwined with those of the Finnish and Swedish companies and in-depth coordination is necessary for the implementation of change."

He added that the purpose of all the rearrangements was to reorganize work processes to conform to the new market situation, not lay off people, and that while the restructuring apparently will entail layoffs, nobody can estimate their number at his point. 

On August 24, a notification of cooperation negotiations was sent to the Finnish organization. On the same day, the Swedish organization began negotiations in accordance with the Swedish Act on Co-Determination in the Workplace.

Negotiations will begin on September 1 in Finland and on the Aland Islands, and are expected to last for six weeks. In addition to these cooperation negotiations, similar negotiations will take place in Estonia, the company said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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