Korean top three yards to cut more than 6,000 jobs this year

South Korea’s top three shipbuilders are expected to cut more than 6,000 jobs this year as part of their self-rescue plans amid mounting debts and weakened business activities, reports said.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is planning to axe 4,000 workers this year through voluntary resignations and retirement, according to local media.

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) will layoff 1,500 workers via a voluntary resignation program implemented this year, with an aim to downsize the shipbuilder’s workforce by 30-40% by 2018.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is also letting go of around 600 workers annually until 2020 to eventually reduce its workforce from 13,000 to 10,000.

The Korean shipbuilding industry, once the key engine of industrialisation and growth for the country’s economy, is now crippled due to tight cashflow and dearth of new orders, and self-rescue restructuring plans are implemented as urged by their creditors.

The ailing health of the shipyards has prompted the Korean government to take action by creating a $9.5bn fund to support state banks exposed to the shipbuilding debts.

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