Uljanik Workers on Strike Again

UljanikImage by WNN

Over 1,500 workers of the 3. Maj and Uljanik shipyards, part of Croatia’s Uljanik Group, launched a new strike on Monday, October 22, demanding for the ongoing crisis at the shipbuilder to be resolved as soon as possible.

The workers downed their tools on Tuesday, October 23 as well, and headed for the company headquarters where they asked for the resignation of Gianni Rosanda, President of the Company Management.

Rossanda already presented his resignation to the supervisory board of Uljanik on August 28.

The workers took to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction with the worsening financial situation at the group, which lost majority of orders over the past few months. Disgruntled workers are also seeking their September wages to be paid.

The new wave of strikes is being held after the general assembly of the company held on October 16 failed to elect new members of the company’s supervisory board, since the group’s shareholders did not propose their members.

The strike is expected to last until Friday, however, workers are not expected to head to the streets in the meantime.

The Croatian government, which has a 25 pct share in the group, is working on a new restructuring plan for the shipbuilder, Croatian Minister of Economy, Darko Horvat, told national tv channel HRT.

The country’s ministries of finance and economy are set to review the amended restructuring proposal in the upcoming few days. As explained by Horvat, the country has received recommendations from Brussels, detailing restrictions to potential state aid schemes for the shipbuilding group. Namely, the final restructuring plan needs to receive a blessing from Brussels before being implemented.

Danko Koncar-led Kermas Energija was selected as Uljanik’s strategic partner for the restructuring process in May 2018. It is estimated that over EUR 450 million (USD 551.5 million) is required for the shipbuilder’s financial restructuring. Based on the latest round of talks, held this week, it is hinted that an unnamed Australian company is seeking to join the restructuring bid.

Uljanik is building two ships that need to be completed by the end of the year.

One of them is being built for Australian company Scenic. The delivery of the luxury cruise ship, named Scenic Eclipse, which was ordered in 2015, has been delayed until late January 2019, due to the ongoing issues at Uljanik.

Scenic Eclipse was originally scheduled to deploy on its maiden voyage from Athens to Venice on August 31, before sailing to the Arctic and Norwegian Fjords.

Uljanik reported a USD 191.5 million loss for 2017, of which 153 million was transferred to this year.

World Maritime News Staff

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