Labor Party fears maritime industry in Norway will die

Kleven Verft shipyardPhoto: Halvard Alvik / NTB
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The Labor Party (AP) believes that the Norwegian government is not doing enough to save maritime jobs. Half of those who work in the maritime industry could lose their jobs within two years.

Norway’s second-largest export industry after oil and gas has been hit hard by the coronavirus’s ripple effects, newspaper Klassekampen writes.

The shipyards have fared the worst. 

It is estimated that the number of shipyards jobs will decrease by 55%, according to a report from the analysis company Menon Economics which came out in August.

The interest group Maritimt Forum believes the government is doing too little to counteract the trend and proposes a scheme for decommissioned offshore vessels that would include making the entire offshore fleet renewable, building deminers for the navy, and a new research vessel for the Institute of Marine Research.

The group received support from the Labor Party.

No new orders

“We are in a situation where the order books are empty. At the same time, the government does not perceive the seriousness (of the situation). 

“In the Menon report, the shipyards and the unions say that the measures are not sufficient, and do not have a significant effect. There is cause for concern,” Terje Aasland, business policy spokesman for the Labor Party, noted.

He wants the government to spend more money and believes that Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (V) should act.

However, Nybø pointed out, among other things, that the government has adopted a shipyard package of NOK 744 million in the 2020–2024 period, in addition to a “green shipping package.” 

Additionally, the shipbuilding industry also benefits from the general measures such as extended redundancy schemes, Nybø noted.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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