Yet another round of layoffs at Vestas

Wind giant to cut 1,400 employees by year’s end

Female students are predominant at five out of the six Copenhagen University faculties (photo: iStock)
August 22nd, 2012 11:08 am| by admin
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Vestas will be cutting 1,400 more employees by the end of 2012 in an effort to get down to 19,000 worldwide by the end of 2012, according to the company’s recently released half-year financial report.

In January, the company announced that it would cut 2,335 employees during the course of 2012. The latest figures raise that number to about 3,700.

Vestas declined to say how many Danish jobs will be hit.
"It is too early to say exactly where layoffs will happen,” Vesta’s spokesperson, Jens Velling, told Politiken newpaper.

Velling did reveal that most of the layoffs will happen in Europe, saying that 55 percent of those cut will be workers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Another 20 percent will be trimmed in Asia and Africa and the final 20 percent will be Vestas employees in the US.

The axe has already begun to fall in the US. Some 90 jobs at a plant in Pueblo, Colorado were cut last week. This week, 30 workers at another factory in the Rocky Mountain state were handed their pink slips.

”It is disappointing,” Jack Rink from the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation told the Denver Post. “Vestas has been a good company here.”

Vestas has previously announced that they may ultimately have to fire up to 1,600 US employees due to uncertainty whether the production tax credit for investments in renewable energy in the US will be extended into 2013.

Any extension will not happen until after the US presidential election in November, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney is on record as opposing the credit. Romney’s opponent, President Obama, favours the credit. Meanwhile, the US turbine industry stagnates while waiting to see who will win.

Velling said the company will announce exactly where the new layoffs will hit soon.

The company said in the financial report that the cuts were necessary “in order to ensure that Vestas will be profitable at expected production levels.”

Starting 2013 with 19,000 employees as opposed to the previously estimated 20,400 will result in a cost savings of about 1.8 billion kroner.

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