Vaasa hit hardest as Wärtsilä cuts 92 jobs in Finland

The engineering giant blames "challenging market conditions" for the latest round of staff reductions.

The vast majority of Wärtsilä's workforce in Finland are in Vaasa. Image: Jukka Tyni / Yle

Marine and energy equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä said on Thursday that it had concluded redundancy talks in Finland with a loss of 92 permanent jobs.

Most of those receiving pink slips, 75, are in the west-coast town of Vaasa. There will also be a dozen redundancies in Helsinki, where the firm is headquartered, as well as five in Turku.

The largest number of layoffs, 66, are in the Vaasa-based Energy division, with more than two dozen in the Marine division and others in support positions.

The negotiations, which began in late September, were originally intended to cut the workforce in Finland by up to 200, along with up to 150 more elsewhere.

"Tragic mood"

"Due to challenging market conditions it has been necessary to evaluate the proportions of our structure and organisation. Unfortunately that has led to a reduction in force of 92 people," said Vesa Riihimäki, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Finland.

Story continues after photo

Union rep Ralf Holmlund Image: Yle/Johanna Ventus

"The mood is really tragic, with gloomy fates lying ahead for a large number of people," said Ralf Holmlund, chief shop steward for the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN).

Holmlund says he hopes that these adjustment measures will now suffice, even though the company announced a couple of weeks ago that its profits slumped in the third quarter of this year.

Riihimäki declined to speculate on future payroll trims.

"It's difficult to predict how the situation will develop. At the moment the whole organisation is working hard to ensure that we can maintain our business in the global market," Riihimäki said.

Wärtsilä has operations in 70 countries. As of late October, it had approximately 3,900 employees in Finland. More than 3,000 of these were in Vaasa, along with a few hundred each in Turku and Helsinki.