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European ferry operator Stena Line will furlough 600 employees and layoff 150 in the UK and Ireland as the coronavirus pandemic decimates passenger travel across Europe.
The Sweden-based company said it intends to maintain 80% of the salaries of the furloughed workers.
Stena Line has experienced a sudden and drastic decline in travel bookings and freight volumes and the company estimates that passenger number will not recover until well into 2021.
“As a result of the significant reduction in revenue, the firm is forced to take tough decisions in order to cut costs and ensure that their vital supply lines of essential goods in Europe,” the company said in a statement.
The furloughs and redundancies will impact both shore-based and sea-based employees in the UK and Ireland, including those working in the North and Irish Seas, where the number of sailings and vessels have been reduced.
Stena Line previously announced 950 layoffs back in March impacting workers employed by Stena Line Scandinavia AB on board nine Swedish-flagged vessels, as well as two sister companies Stena Line Travel Group and Retail & Food Services. Additional job losses have also been made in Denmark and the Baltics, Stena Line said.
In order to maintain the 80% salary target for furloughed workers, Stena Line says it will cover the difference not covered by the UK and Irish government coronavirus relief schemes.
“The COVID-19 crisis has meant that Stena Line is experiencing a significant decline in passenger and freight volumes across all its 20 European routes. We are having to make some very difficult decisions, that we hoped we would never have to make.” says Ian Hampton, Director, Stena Line.
“In order to secure the continuity of our freight operations, we have no choice but to reduce our costs. We are committed to keep vital supply lines open for UK and Ireland. Regrettably we must furlough employees on temporary paid leave and make redundancies, as we adjust to this new reality. We will do everything in our means to ensure essential supply lines stay operational during what is a very difficult time for the company and the countries that we serve.” adds Hampton.
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