APM Terminals to lay off 160 jobs at Gothenburg terminal in Sweden


Global port operator APM Terminals has unveiled a plan to cut 160 positions at its facility in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The decision follows several labour disruptions that led to a drop in container volumes at the terminal by 25% last year.

Discussions relating to the proposed layoffs are expected to be completed within the next few months.

APM Terminals Gothenburg head Henrik Kristensen was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We have lost about 70,000 containers in revenue over the past year.”

The company invested kr800m ($120m) in the Gothenburg terminal between 2012 and 2016, which oversees the movement of nearly half of all container traffic in Sweden.

APM Terminals is now making an additional investment of kr250m ($37m) in the facility.

"This has been a very difficult but necessary decision caused by the Swedish Dockworkers' Union's consecutive blockades and nine strikes for over a year."

In a separate statement, Kristensen said: “This has been a very difficult but necessary decision caused by the Swedish Dockworkers' Union's consecutive blockades and nine strikes for over a year, resulting in several shipping lines no longer calling (at) Gothenburg.”

The Swedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU) has been staging protests demanding the right to present its members during negotiations with APM Terminals.

Nearly 85% of the 450 employees at Gothenburg port are members of SDU, but the union has alleged APM Terminals wants to have a no-strike agreement with workers.

SDU spokesman Anders Moller said: “If we are going to give away our right to strike, we have to have a reasonable ability to represent our members, to take part in negotiations, to pick safety foremen.”

Moller further stated that APM Terminals has locked out SDU members from working night shifts since May.