Ferry company Tallink Grupp has said on Wednesday that more than 2,000 jobs are at risk if salary compensation schemes are not extended in Estonia and Finland or travel restrictions lifted. The company is currently undergoing an "extensive reorganisation".
Nearly all 1,200 Tallink Silja OY employees are affected by the lay-offs, both in the company's onshore organisation as well as onboard the two vessels operating under the Finnish flag: Silja Serenade and Baltic Princess.
Tallink Grupp has informed the company's staff it will notify the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Independent Maritime Workers Union of commencing further collective redundancies processes this week. A collective redundancies process is also taking place in Latvia.
Within the company's Finnish subsidiary, extensive lay-offs of both onshore and onboard personnel are already in place, which will continue for now either full time or part time.
The situation is being closely monitored and the possible need for any adjustment measures and further action is continuously assessed.
In total, 2,500 Tallink Grupp employees will be affected in some way by the changes, depending on the negotiations with various parties.
CEO of Tallink Grupp Paavo Nõgene said coronavirus travel restrictions, confusion over the implementation of restrictions and the inability to restore connections with Sweden are part of the problem.
He said: "It is clear that in the current situation and in today's circumstances, it is not economically possible for us to continue to provide all the services we were planning to provide during the autumn-winter season ahead, which in turn also means that we are unable to offer as much work to all the colleagues in our already downsized organisation as we had hoped.
"It is clear that in the current situation and in today's circumstances, it is not economically possible for us to continue to provide all the services we were planning to provide during the autumn-winter season ahead, which in turn also means that we are unable to offer as much work to all the colleagues in our already downsized organisation as we had hoped."
He also wants salary compensation schemes to continue in Finland and Estonia: "Should the support mechanisms be decided and agreed by the governments quickly or the market situation change, we are ready to review the current plans and decisions quickly and revise these on the extent of the support offered and we are ready to re-employ our people where possible when the situation improves."
Nõgene said Germany is a good example of the state offering vital support to businesses, with salary compensation schemes being extended in the country at least until the end of 2021.
Earlier this summer Tallink was given a €100 million loan by the Estonian government.
From March to August the largest amount of money under the government's wage compensation was assigned to 1,835 employees of Hansaliin, a member of the Tallink Grupp, with a total cost of €5.8 million.
Compensation of €1.85 million was granted to 528 employees of HT Laevateenindus, which also belongs to Tallink Grupp and €1.49 million has been granted to 465 employees of Tallink Grupp
Editor: Helen Wright