300 lose their jobs at oil service firm

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Norway’s rising unemployment rate looked likely to edge up even more after offshore oil service company MHWirth announced that 300 of the firm’s employees in Norway would be losing their jobs, 220 of them at headquarters in Kristiansand.

It was the latest blow to the southern coastal city that already has been battered by downsizing in the oil and oil service industries since the price of oil fell by more than half. Around 80 employees will be laid off at the company’s offices in Horten, Oslo and Stavanger.

“It’s a sad day for many of us here,” Bjørg Hansen, head of human resources for MHWirth, told state broadcaster NRK.

She said the company had worked closely with the employees’ representatives, discussing criteria for layoffs that first were announced last month when Wirth, which is part-owned by the Aker concern, said between 500 and 800 jobs would need to be cut. Now the decision had been made to reduce staffing in Norway by 300. It remained unclear how many additional jobs would actually be cut abroad.

Around 820 employees will remain in Kristiansand after this latest round of downsizing, which is the third so far this year.

newsinenglish.no staff