ZURRICH — Swiss packaging group Vetropack said on Wednesday it would cut about 400 jobs in Ukraine after serious war damage to its Hostomel factory, a sign of the increasing economic toll of the fighting in Ukraine.
The glass packaging manufacturer, which employs about 600 people at its factory northwest of Kiev, said it had continued to pay the full salaries of its people there since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while laying them off their jobs. .
But now, with damage from military activity rendering the factory unusable for the foreseeable future and hostilities continuing in the region, the company said it would have to lay off about two-thirds of its workforce.
“We are aware of the impact this move will have on our workers in Ukraine, but we see no alternative at this time,” said general manager Johann Reiter in a statement. “In our estimation, it will not be possible to resume production in (Hostomel) immediately – even if the war ends, which is currently unforeseeable.”
About 4.8 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, accounting for about 30% of Ukraine’s workforce, the International Labor Organization said last week, as the conflict shut down businesses, strangled exports and displaced millions. chased.
Russian forces seized Hostomel, which is close to an airport, shortly after the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Vetropack said it had no plans to close its site permanently and hoped to reopen it after repairs. But in the medium term, it could only provide clearance and ‘asset protection and preservation’.
Without the site up and running, the company said it couldn’t keep up with payments to employees.
“The financing of these jobs is directly related to the production and sale of glass packaging. That is why we cannot survive without production,” says Reiter.
The company said it would look for possible solutions for the affected workers in the coming weeks, but noted that most, as men in military service, were unable to leave Ukraine.
So far, about 35 employees had moved abroad, according to Vetropack. Some of them worked in other business locations. (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; editing by Bradley Perrett)
This post Swiss company cuts 400 jobs in Ukraine as war’s toll continues
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