Tallink Silja AB is forced to issue redundancy notice to Swedish crew members
Tallink Silja AB has today been forced to issue redundancy notices to all onboard employees in Sweden (up to 500) within the collective agreement areas SEKO and SBF. This is due to the Corona pandemic and the fact that the possibility of short - term lay-off of staff is now ending at the end of November 2020.
Commenting on this extremely difficult decision, Marcus Risberg, CEO of Tallink Silja AB, said: “In recent weeks, we have worked hard to persuade the government to extend the possibility of short-term layoffs, so that we can cope with overcoming the extremely challenging situation we have been in since March. Short-term layoffs, combined with a fair amount of traffic on the Galaxy and some weekend traffic when given the opportunity on Symphony, could have given us the opportunity to hold on and persevere. At present, however, we have no signals from the government about an extension of the support. We have not given up, and we are currently preparing more initiatives and even stronger advocacy work to put pressure on the government. But, unfortunately, we cannot live on hopes, but we must adapt to what we know right now. In parallel with trying to influence politics, we have conducted intensive negotiations with representatives of SEKO and SBF. This with the aim of finding an alternative solution that makes it possible to avoid making any further notices to staff until the situation improves. Unfortunately, we must now also admit that the conditions do not exist for reaching an agreement with all the parties, despite the fact that we had hopes of an agreement as great progress was previously made in the discussions with parts of the collective.
“All in all, this unfortunately means that today we have had to make the difficult decision right now to issue the redundancy notice today, which may affect the entire remaining crew on Galaxy and Silja Symphony. In order to be able to handle the situation and have a plan for continued operations in the future, we must go through this process right now, pull the emergency brake and thereby fix benchmarks for our costs for a relatively long time ahead.
“I would like to emphasize that, in the first instance, we naturally hope that the government will extend the short-term layoffs so that we do not have to carry out the notice at all. Secondly, we hope to persuade the unions to understand that we must find an alternative solution with reduced working hours so that we can survive the winter. Thirdly, we must all try to keep in mind that if we are forced to get all the way there, the notice periods for the crew are long and a lot can happen in the meantime.
“Our absolute ambition is, of course - as it has been during all this difficult time - that traffic should be able to resume as soon as possible and that everything should return to normal. But we are where we are right now due to the development of the pandemic and it is thus, as everyone understands, completely out of our control.”
Representatives of the respective unions will now be called by Tallink Silja AB to negotiations on labor shortages. In parallel with the negotiations, the management of Tallink Silja will continue to do everything in their power to influence the government to extend the short-term layoffs.
AS Tallink Grupp is one of the leading providers of passenger transport and cargo transport services in the northern part of the Baltic Sea region. The company owns 15 vessels and operates seven ferry routes under the brand names of Tallink and Silja Line. AS Tallink Grupp employs over 6,000 people in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Russia and Germany. In 2019, Tallink Grupp provided services to 9.8 million travellers and transported approximately 380,000 freight units of goods. The shares of Tallink Grupp are listed on the Tallinn Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Helsinki Stock Exchange.