Around 500 employees at FMC Kongsberg Subsea are being warned of possible layoffs this month. Some of them reportedly are taking the news so hard that the company has had to send for ambulances.
“I can confirm that ambulances have been at FMC during this process,” Anne-Jenny Archer, who represents employees at FMC Kongsberg Subsea, told state broadcaster NRK on Thusday.
FMC director Rune Thoresen told NRK that the company has a low threshold for summoning medical help when employees need assistance. “We’re taking care of individual employees by cooperating with health care personnel, doctors, human resources, the unions and managers when the need arises,” Thoresen said.
Aase Prøitz, a psychologist in Kongsberg, said it was not unusual that people can “get a huge shock, get scared and their hearts start pounding” when they get bad news. “These reactions can be similar to those for a heart attack,” she said, adding that companies need to be prepared for medical emergencies.
Archer said she found no reason to criticize FMC over the way it has handled the announcements of pending layoffs. “We must go through a period of staff cuts because we don’t have enough work to do,” Archer told NRK. “Everyone understands we have to go through a certain process. I think the way we handle it will be the most fair possible.”
The layoffs at FMC are the latest in a series of job cuts at Norwegian companies, following the dive in oil prices. On Wednesday, Subsea 7 announced it would lay off 1,200 more employees, 260 of them in Norway.