As a result of uncertainty surrounding the economic situation and weakened market conditions related to COVID-19, Swedish steelmaker SSAB is planning temporary layoffs of its workers in Finland and intends to engage in employer-employee negotiations. This latest announcement from SSAB follows hot on the heels of news that the board of directors will not receive a dividend for the financial year 2019 also as a result of the virus.

The employer-employee negotiations apply to SSAB Group’s personnel in Finland, excluding subsidiaries Ruukki Construction and Tibnor.

The exact number of employees affected as well as the lengths of the temporary lay-offs will be decided in the negotiations.

According to SSAB, during the first three months of 2020, business largely proceeded according to expectations, but the outlook is uncertain due to the spread of Covid-19 and its effects on global industrial production and on the economy in general.

SSAB claims it has a strong balance sheet and a historically low net debt to equity-ratio, 'and has also secured a solid preparedness in terms of liquidity'.

The withdrawal of the dividend, claims SSAB, is a precautionary measure.