Dutch offshore company Heerema is slashing its workforce by 450 jobs, or almost 60% of the total workforce.
Most of the jobs will go at the company’s headquarters in Zwijndrecht and at the Zwijndrecht and Vlissingen shipyards, reducing the workforce in the Netherlands by 350 to 170. Hundreds of positions will also be cut in Poland and Britain.
‘It is dramatic,’ personnel chief Jan Willem Goedknecht told reporters. ‘We have people who have been working here for 30 or 40 years.’
Heerema builds oil rigs and other large constructions for the oil and gas industries. ‘Our work is drying up. Our clients are delaying investments or scrapping them altogether,’ Goedknecht said.
The company said the job cuts are due to ‘poor market conditions in the oil and gas industry, increasing competition, the combination of price pressure and unfavourable contractual conditions in the wind energy market, and the somber prospects for the near future’.
Low oil and gas prices are having a considerable knock-on effect on industry suppliers. Recently, Dutch shipbuilder IHC said it was cutting 425 out of 2,300 jobs. And oil giant Shell said this week it is cutting investments in new projects.
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