MV Werften, a huge shipbuilding company with plants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and around 1,900 employees, filed for bankruptcy on Monday.
The shipyard is a central part of the state’s shipbuilding industry and has been working on a massive new line of cruise ships known as “global-class” ships. The ships, more than 340 meters long, would head for Asian ports and the US west coast.
“The federal and state governments have tried everything to save the shipyards,” explained Claudia Müller, coordinator for maritime economy and tourism. Despite intense negotiations with owner Genting Hong Kong, no solution has been found, she added.
The state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the federal government had offered to provide 600 million euros from the pandemic economic fund. Still, the pandemic-stricken Genting was unable or unwilling to co-finance state funds with its funds at a 10% rate.
Traditionally, government support requires 20% of the funding to be matched from their own resources, but states had been desperate for a compromise in the face of massive job cuts.
At MV Werften alone, 1,900 employees are at risk of losing their jobs after not receiving their December wages. A further 1,500 jobs are now at risk across the supply chain.
These workers must now find work in other industries or be retrained. “It is very important to us to actually retain the existing know-how,” said Müller.
In addition, “there are already transfer companies that were co-financed by Genting and also by the federal and state governments” that have taken measures after consultation with employee representatives, Müller told journalists when asked by EURACTIV.
The fate of the one-billion-euro cruise ship Global Dream, which is currently under construction, is still unclear.
(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.de)