In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, Wallenius Wilhelmsen has announced it is suspending operations at several land-based processing centres, starting temporary layoffs for about 2,500 production workers in the US and Mexico.
The temporary layoffs now started amount to a little more than half of the company's production workforce across the US and Mexico.
In a statement sent to Bunkerspot today (26 March), Wallenius Wilhelmsen said: ‘Developments will be continually reviewed, and activities adjusted in line with customer decisions and market developments, with a focus on returning employees to work when business rebounds.’
Craig Jasienski, President & CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, commented: ‘While we work diligently to avoid reductions in our workforce, we have no choice but to respond to the disruption experienced by our customers and the effect it has on our operational throughput and income.
‘The Coronavirus has created unique issues, pressures and challenges for businesses around the world. We recognize and remain sensitive to the challenges many employees and families are facing during these uncertain times. Still, I remain confident that making some hard but responsible decisions today, is a far better course than waiting and having to make bigger and harder decisions later. We will continue to hold that mantra as matters develop.’
Earlier this week the company announced the cancellation of dividends for 2019, together with plans to reduce capacity through a combination of redelivery of chartered vessels to tonnage providers, early recycling of up to four vessels and cold-lay-up of up to 10 vessels.