How the "Sea" drowns: in the Crimea, activists unsuccessfully try to rescue shipbuilding plant from bankruptcy

How the "Sea" drowns: in the Crimea, activists unsuccessfully try to rescue shipbuilding plant from bankruptcy

How the "Sea" drowns: in the Crimea, activists unsuccessfully try to rescue shipbuilding plant from bankruptcy
News

9 August, 11:36
Economy
Photo: Официальный сайт завода "Море"
The company was left without orders due to the change of ownership. Activists organized a flash mob to draw attention to the problems of the enterprise.

Alexander Dybin

Trade union organizations associated with shipbuilding have been publishing calls for several weeks to keep the More* plant in Feodosia (Crimea) from being closed. According to activists, the company, which can produce a wide range of ships from military to tourist, has not received orders for several months.

According to the Interregional Trade Union of Shipbuilding, Ship Repair and Marine Engineering Workers (Sudprof), since 2014, the number of workers at the plant has been reduced by three times, and by the end of 2022, the capacity utilization may be reduced to a critical level. Now the enterprise, which is the city-forming for Feodosia, employs about 350 people. In the near future, they may be transferred to a 20-hour work week, which will reduce wages to a minimum. “In the current situation, in the context of the introduction of tough sanctions, when all the available capacities of strategic enterprises of the military-industrial complex should be used, we consider it unacceptable to implement measures to decommission more than half of the production areas of SZ More JSC for investment projects. Under the conditions of the imposed sanctions, no commercial investment projects, except for state ones, including defense ones, can be implemented”, - Sudprof said.

As the head of the primary trade union organization of the enterprise, Lyubov Stepunina, told Novye Izvestia, the last two years at the enterprise were especially difficult, since the process of transferring the plant from the Rostec state corporation to the United Shipbuilding Corporation was delayed. This process was completed in March and "More" did not have time to receive orders that were distributed for this year.

“While the issue of transferring us from Rostec to USC was being decided, we did not receive orders,” she said, “all procedures ended in March of this year, but there are still no orders. We have already carried out the reduction procedure, laid off 44 employees. At the beginning of the year there were 400 of us, now there are 360. All of them have been put on idle with two-thirds of their salaries saved. From time to time someone is recalled to work, but for the most part in idle time. Before these problems, the wages of workers amounted to 30,000 thousand, now, during downtime, income has fallen. If a decision is made to switch to a 20-hour work week, it will be even lower: about 10,000 rubles. It's hard to live on this money.

The plant has been operating since 1938 and produces both military and civilian boats. Specializes in vessels with dynamic support principles: hydrofoil, hovercraft, cavity and planing vessels. Among other things, it produces tourist and pleasure boats, which, however, turned out to be unclaimed, despite the growth of domestic tourism and interest in the water business.

“Skilled specialists are forced to leave and go to work,” says Lyubov Stepunina, “our employees are in good standing and easily find work in their specialty in St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Murmansk. But we have no work for them, so social tension is growing. The enterprise is mired in debt, all this time it receives money from the USC for a loan, so the question of insolvency arises. The management says: we will try to find orders, boot. But it is already August, this year it is unrealistic to get something, all the distribution of government orders took place at the beginning of the year and we did not have time. In addition, we are under sanctions and it is unrealistic to receive a private order, especially a foreign one. Who will buy a ship, which will then not be allowed into any port? All hope is in the state.

According to the trade union activist, the team has already addressed the head of the Crimea Aksenov, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin.

“All we need is help in obtaining orders and maintaining production space,” says Stepunina. - Not so long ago, a new maritime doctrine was adopted, which states that it is planned to create a shipbuilding complex on the basis of the shipbuilding enterprises of the Crimea and Sevastopol. We think that we should also enter it, but so far this is not visible. ”

What the authorities say

As the Ministry of Industrial Policy of the Republic of Crimea told Novye Izvestia, problems at the More plant arose back in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic and the unwillingness of Russian buyers to purchase ships manufactured on the peninsula.

“Private shipowners, despite the ongoing negotiations and the decree of the government of the Russian Federation, which provides for the provision of subsidies to Russian organizations by reimbursement of 30% of the cost of a new vessel, subject to the placement of a shipbuilding order at domestic shipyards, its full payment and the use of the built vessel for fishing purposes for five years under the State flag of the Russian Federation, they do not want to place orders with an enterprise located on the territory of the Republic of Crimea,” the ministry said.

The ministry estimated the current capacity utilization of the enterprise at less than 20% of the planned one.

“This does not allow to ensure the stable financial and economic activity of the enterprise for the payment of accrued interest and repayment of the principal debt,” the Crimean Ministry of Industry clarified, “at present, the production facilities of the enterprise are building two high-speed passenger hydrofoil ships Kometa 120M.” Also, within the framework of the state program "Socio-economic development of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol until 2025", two contracts for the construction of ships are being carried out in the interests of the Federal State Institution "Directorate of the State Customer".

According to the Crimean government, the United Shipbuilding Corporation has prepared a draft concept for the development of the More plant, which involves the placement of state defense orders and the construction of civilian ships. At the same time, the plant is included in the list of strategic enterprises.

*More - word in Russian language which means the "sea".

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