South Korea's three major shipbuilders plan to hire only a handful of workers in the first half of this year amid a prolonged slump and the ongoing industrywide restructuring drive, sources said Tuesday.
Of the three -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. -- only Hyundai Heavy Industries is expected to recruit a small number of essential workers in the first half.
The figure is likely to be similar to the company's intake of new workers during the second half of last year, which stood at only 47, according to the sources.
Hyundai Heavy Industries had been hiring some 1,000 new and career employees each year, with the number reaching 500 for the first half of last year.
Samsung Heavy Industries plans to hire no new workers in the first half, while the company has yet to finalize its hiring plans for the second half. It employed only a small number of workers in the first half of last year and didn't recruit any employees in the second half.Samsung Heavy Industries had been taking in nearly 400 workers every year before halving the number in 2015 in the thick of the industry's slump. In the first half of last year, the company didn't hire new workers as it laid off about 1,400 workers as part of self-rescue measures.
DSME also said it is highly unlikely that it will hire new workers in the first half, hit by growing losses, flagging orders and a liquidity crunch.
An industry source said the shipbuilding industry will find it difficult to hire new employees for the time being as they are striving to stay afloat through layoffs and other self-help measures.
The local shipbuilding industry, once deemed the backbone of the country's economic growth and job creation, has been reeling from mounting losses caused by an industrywide slump and increased costs.
The three shipyards posted a combined operating loss of 8.5 trillion won (US$7.4 billion) in 2015 due largely to increased costs stemming from a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and the industrywide slump. The three have come up with sweeping self-rescue programs in a desperate bid to stay above water. (Yonhap)
Park So-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org
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