Restructuring at Harland and Wolff

News - October 5, 2000

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Following the decision in favour of Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff by the Arbitration Panel in relation to monies owed by Global Marine in respect of the delivery instalment for the drill ship Glomar Jack Ryan, the board and management of the yard hasbeen considering how best to restructure the company.

As a result, Harland and Wolff Holdings plc says it now intends to proceed with the restructuring operation, and intends to reduce the size of its core workforce in line with current workload.

An immediate downsizing to a core workforce of approximately 600 employees will occur, necessitating the redundancy of some 600 personnel. It has been confirmed that assistance will be forthcoming, through the Department of Higher and Further Education,Training and Employment for Northern Ireland, to facilitate payment of employees statutory redundancy entitlement. The yard says it anticipates that the redundancy process will be concluded by 05 October.

Commenting on the restructuring, Brynjulv Mugaas, Chief Executive of Harland and Wolff said: "The extent of the redundancy which needs to be implemented is highly regrettable and deeply painful. However, in order to provide the maximum opportunity for Harland and Wolff to restore market confidence and secure its future in shipbuilding and offshore construction, we need to match employment levels closely to confirmed workload.

"A leaner, more responsive and more productive shipbuilding and offshore construction business will be better placed to take advantage of emerging market opportunities and to counter the cyclical nature of ship ordering patterns.

"Critical to this will be the necessity for an immediate and fundamental step change in productivity in order to enhance the competitiveness of the company. We would hope to keep the redundancy implemented to around the level identified, but this will depend on achieving the major improvement in productivity coupled with the securing of major orders. This is the only way to ensure the company's future."

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