Boskalis Works Council Cushioning Fleet Rationalization Blow

  • Business & Finance

Royal Boskalis Westminster’s Works Council has unanimously rendered a positive advice on the fleet rationalization plan announced in early July, under which 24 vessels will be taken out of service in the coming two years resulting in the loss of approximately 650 jobs worldwide.

Part of the positive advice is an agreement to continue to crew two of the five Fairmount vessels with Dutch employees for the time being, as well as an agreement in principle with the Works Council on a social plan.

The workforce reduction will be absorbed through attrition and redeployment where possible and affected employees can make use of a social plan. Boskalis will invite the trade unions to resume talks about this.

In July, the company said it had based the decision to rationalize the fleet on the results of its fleet rationalization study that was initiated in light of deteriorating market conditions and an expected prolonged period of low energy and commodity prices.

Of the 24 vessels that will be taken out of service in the 2016-2018 period, ten are at the Dredging division and fourteen at the Offshore Energy division. These will include trailing suction hopper dredgers, cutter suction dredgers, anchor handling tugs and heavy transport vessels.

In its H1 2016 financial results, Boskalis reported a net profit of EUR 147.5 million, compared with EUR 306.5 million for the same period last year. Revenue in the first half of the year fell 25% compared to the first half of last year to EUR 1.17 billion, due to deteriorated market conditions.

However, the company marked the offshore wind sector as a sizable growth market that presents new opportunities, partly through the recently acquired offshore activities of VolkerWessels, which include VBMS, Stemat and Volker Stevin International (VSI).

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