Hyundai Heavy Industries to cut workforce via early retirement

Hyundai Heavy Industries

South Korea’s largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. (HHI) which has been active in restructuring to turn leaner against volatile market announced a new streamlining plan, dealing more blow to the thinning labor force in dockyards.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) said Tuesday that it is inviting for early retirement between April 16-29 from office and manufacturing workers who served the company 10 years or more in exchange for severance incentive of maximum 20-month salaries and scholarship for dependent offspring.

Workers aged 55 or older also have the choice to quit before their retirement age. The separate early retirement program receives applicants next week.

The shipbuilder carried out early retirement programs in 2015 and 2016.

The company said the downsizing was inevitable due to lack of orders despite its efforts to normalize business and vowed to help early retirees find new jobs.

Currently, three of 11 docks are shut down due to dwindling backlog and nearly 5,000 workers have been idle since the second half last year.

The company was able to secure only 48 shipbuilding orders worth $4.7 billion last year and pulled in orders for just 7 seven vessels in the first three months this year. The last offshore order was in an oil and gas platform in Abu Dhabi in 2014. Once the project is completed in July, offshore platform workers inevitably will become redundant.

The situation is similar with other shipbuilding majors, and the industry is expected to shed more jobs.

At 11:48 a.m. Wednesday, HHI shares were down 1.59 percent at 124,000 won ($117.27).


The Original Posted By Hwang Soon-min and Cho Jeehyun/maeil Business News Korea