When the shipowners Østensjø re-registers three of their ships and replace some of the sailors with foreign crew members, up to 40 employees will have to go.
The changes come when Haugesund shipowner move three vessels from the Norwegian NOR registry to Norwegian International Shipping Register (NIS), writing Sysla. Director Kenneth Walland says it was a hard decision to re- flag the three ships.
– We resisited as long as we could – perhaps too long. – Continued NOR registration of these vessels was no longer an acceptable option – in the present economic climate it is unfortunately no longer competitive, says Walland. From 1 March this year the Norwegian government has allowed construction vessels to re-register in NIS. That means reduced requirements for the number of Norwegian crew members on board, and for Østensjø’s part this means that around 40 people could lose their jobs, explained their shipping director.
Union representative Bjørn Petter Totland in the Seamen’s Federation finds it regrettable that they are moving towards layoffs, but understands the management of the company.
– We do not applaud that the shipping company re-flags to NIS, but when the government has facilitated this they have little alternative if they are to survive in today’s market.
According to Director Walland they all agreed that the NIS solution is better than to flag out of Norway completely, and the company also plans to move a Malta-registered ship and a new building over to NIS.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today