Workers fear for jobs as shipbuilder goes belly up

Workers fear for jobs as shipbuilder goes belly up
Photo: DPA
German shipbuilder P+S applied for bankruptcy on Wednesday, after negotiations with its clients and suppliers failed. The move leaves around 2,000 fearing for their jobs.

Hundreds of workers still turned up for the early shift in Stralsund on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t look good “, 61-year-old shipyard worker Gerd Riede told Die Welt, who has worked there for 46 years.

The shipyard employs nearly 2,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the north eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

P+S has been in difficulty since 2009 and hasn’t delivered a ship since April.

The state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the federal government have repeatedly supported the shipyard financially.

In the more than two decades since German reunification, the state and federal government have poured billions into P+S’s two locations Stralsund and Wolgast, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Wednesday.

They offered P+S another €152 million over the summer, but it soon became clear even this would not be enough to save the firm.

The European Commission would not allow more state money than this to be offered.

Last week emergency aid was halted, and P+S was left trying to work out a deal with its suppliers and clients.

On Monday the Financial Times Deutschland reported it was becoming increasingly clear that a deal could not be reached with P+S’s main client Scandlines, which is still waiting for two ferries that should have been delivered months ago.

The paper noted that more than half a dozen German shipyards have gone bust since the financial crisis amid a reduction in orders and increased competition from China, Japan and Korea.

The Local/DAPD/sh

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