Genoa - The initial point is reassuring, if one is a glass-half-full kind of person, as there will be “no collective layoff procedures throughout the company, nor in Genoa’s HQ.” This is what appeared in a communique to The Secolo XIX/The MediTelegraph issued by the Rina Group, the global giant in the field of certification-services. While the reassurance sounds positive, the Genoa-based company confirmed it has initiated “a reorganization of its entire structure, both in Italy and abroad,” of a scope “not even comparable to that of some major players in the industry that in the last year have had to cut thousands of jobs.” The first chapter in the reorganization of the firm, headed by Ugo Salerno, will take place in the early afternoon today, at the headquarters of Confindustria Genova, where unions will meet with the group’s managers. The restructuring plan will involve less than 100 employees, out of about 3,800 worldwide, of which 2,000 are in Italy and half of those in Genoa, and - said a source familiar with the matter - the impact on the firm’s operations in Italy is likely to be “significantly smaller.”
As things stand, however, staff cuts - albeit limited - as well as the launching of so-called “solidarity contracts”, or the activation of a - minimal in this case - layoff procedure cannot be excluded. The group, which currently has over 170 offices in 65 countries around the world, could also decide to implement a plan of staff relocations to offset the group’s workload in its various branches, based on constantly changing market demands. “The Rina group,” said the company, “has reached a size that allows it to maximize synergies, a key element to operate in the very tough market environment like we have at present.” And then again: “The process of reorganization will be well thought-out and designed in the course of our ongoing talks with the unions, with the aim to maximize efficiencies and minimize the impact on staff.” The firm’s results last year were not satisfactory as the company did not achieve its desired objectives, and although closing with a €450 million turnover, this will result in the withholding of production bonuses and employee bonuses. The energy and marine sectors are among those that have been particularly shaken by the recent economic downturn. In the hard hit shipping sector, however, there are good signals coming from particular segments, such as that of cruises. Hence the need to shore up the defences, but without raising alarm bells.