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STX Finland to lay off up to 350 at shipyards

STX Finland to lay off up to 350 at shipyards

STX Finland, the builder of the world's largest cruise liners, said Wednesday it will permanently lay off up to 350 workers as orders for new vessels have dwindled.
CEO Juha Heikinheimo said the redundancies, at two yards in southwestern Finland, will likely begin next year because of poor demand and a "need to improve competitiveness."
Last week, the $1.5 billion Allure of the Seas was delivered to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines at the Turku shipyard from where it sailed to its home port of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Last year, the same yard also delivered its sister ship to Royal Caribbean, the Oasis of the Seas.
The 16-deck vessels have 2,700 cabins and are able to accommodate up to 8,500 people. They span 1,200 feet (360 meters) from bow to stern, with a height from sea level of 236 feet (72 meters).
The mammoth ships boast dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars along promenade shopping streets that include parks with living trees and plants and 1,400-seat theaters.
STX Finland last week received a $335 million ((EURO)240 million) ferry order from Finland's Viking Line, but Heikinheimo said it was not enough to avoid the planned layoffs.
"It's too early to say how many people the order will employ. Already, it's providing work for our planners," Heikinheimo said. "One or two ship orders aren't enough to bring back all our workers."
Some 1,100 of STX Finland's 3,300 work force are currently temporarily laid off, Heikinheimo said.
Construction of the 690-foot (210-meter) ferry is expected to begin next year with delivery in 2013.
It will be able to hold 2,800 passengers and include 1,800 meters (6,000 feet) of lane space for trucks and cars, and will operate between Turku and the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
STX Finland is part of the international STX Europe Group, which has 15 shipyards in Brazil, Norway, France, Romania, Finland and Vietnam. The Group has 16,000 employees.
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Online:
http://www.stxeurope.com