Norwegian power company Statkraft and state-controlled telecoms firm Telenor announced more major jobs cuts on Thursday. At Telenor, the cuts were blamed on the ongoing shift to new technology.
That’s what’s often leading to job losses these days, as opposed to trade issues and cheaper overseas production. The new job cuts come just a day after a new survey indicated that Norwegians were regaining faith in their economy, but that was mostly because of the recent problems caused by the downturn in the country’s biggest industry, oil, whic is now seeing some recovery.
Berit Svendsen, leader of Telenor in Norway, stated that the company is in the midst of a major technological shift “in which digitalization and new customer needs are changing the way we work.” That’s costing 170 full-time equivalent jobs in Telenor Norge’s broadband and technology division. Svendsen said that as many of the job cuts as possible would be made through attrition. All those made redundant will be offered severance pay packages and retraining assistance.
“It’s a tough day,” Torild Lid Uribarri, communications director for Telenor, told state broadcaster, NRK. Telenor currently has around 3,900 employees at 24 locations in Norway, plus thousands more abroad, mostly in Asia and eastern Europe.
The job cuts were greater at Statkraft, which announced it was laying off between 500 and 600 people to cut costs. Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that as many as 240 of the cuts will be made in Norway by the end of 2018, with the rest tied to staffing cuts and the sale of operations in Brazil.
DN reported that around 3,800 people worked for Statkraft at the beginning of this year, but chief executive Christian Rynning-Tønnesen claimed that weak market prices and a poor outlook for several years ahead made it necessary to slash hundreds of jobs. The company could cite a production record last year, but logged an after-tax loss of NOK 179 million for 2016 when releasing its annual results.