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Shipbuilding industry in Finnmark expecting layoffs as a result of sanctions

Photo: Berit Roald / NTB

Several hundred jobs in the far northeast of Norway could disappear as a result of the sanctions against Russia, shipyard employees, LO, and the mayor of Sør-Varanger warn.

“We are 100% behind the sanctions against Russia, but if it affects both customers, banks, and suppliers, it will paralyze us,” Rainer Ingebrigtsen, club leader for Fellesforbundet members at Kimek, told Fri Fagbevegelse.

The yard in Kirkenes gets between 70 and 80% of its income from the maintenance and refurbishment of Russian boats. Ingebrigtsen calls for an aid package similar to the one that the business community received in connection with the corona pandemic.

“We have never had problems with Russian customers paying, but with sanctions against Russian banks, we will not get paid. Then we can not take on jobs either,” the club leader emphasized.

At least 200 jobs at risk?

Mayor Lena Norum Bergeng in Sør-Varanger believes the Municipality could lose at least 200 jobs and NOK 35 million in tax revenue annually due to the sanctions.

She expects Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP) and Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre (AP), who will visit Kirkenes on Tuesday, to put forward a “package for change.”

“If not, there are dark skies ahead for many companies here,” she said.

LO in Troms, Finnmark, and Svalbard believe the ripple effects of the sanctions will last for a long time and fear people leaving Sør-Varanger if they are laid off.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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