Damen Shipyards has announced a restructuring of its repair yards Damen Verolme Rotterdam and Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam. According to trade union CNV Vakmensen director Corina Hensen, 125 jobs will be lost with most redundancies affecting office staff.

The reorganisation was announced on Friday 19 February. Over 2019, the shipyard reported a net loss of 287 million euros, which was followed by a restructuring announced in August 2020 involving 1050 job cuts worldwide. The job cuts at the repair yards come on top of these 1050. The reasons are the same for both rounds of layoffs: the crisis in the offshore sector and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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According to Damen, the reorganisation is necessary to ‘keep the yards healthy for the future’. Hensen says the restructuring will most heavily impact the Botlek area, with a part of Verolme closing down. In Schiedam, only a small number of jobs will disappear.

No social plan

CNV Vakmensen says that at the moment, no social plan is available for the people losing their jobs, which is why the Dutch trade union will try to reach an agreement with Damen as soon as possible.

‘In itself, it is not entirely unexpected that the shipyard is being hit by the global crisis in the offshore oil and gas industry,’ says Hensen. ‘But it is tricky that the last valid social plan expired just last year. We at CNV Vakmensen will therefore certainly try to incorporate those old social plans into a new safety net.’

The works councils of both shipyards still have to give their approval to the reorganisation.

Picture: In October 2020, Damen Shipyards Group completed the extensive rebuild of research vessel OceanXplorer at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (by Damen).