STX to slash workforce as orders dry up

Korean shipyard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding announced yesterday its intention to slash jobs through a voluntary retirement plan as its orderbook dries up.

The yard, once one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, has not secured any new orders in the first half of the year, with an order backlog of just seven ships to be built by the first quarter of 2021.

“The overall suspension of our shipyards will be inevitable if things remain the same,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Workers have gone on strike since late May, calling for stopping six-month unpaid furloughs, which half of about 500 workers have taken in rotation since June 2018.

STX has been under a restructuring program led by the Korea Development Bank for the last seven years.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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