Second company announces ‘salmon tax’ job losses

Romsdal Processing plant, Midsund

Yet another Norwegian salmon company is reported to be laying off a large number of staff, laying the blame on the Oslo government’s ground rent tax proposal.

Romsdal Processing has said it plans to shed 94 jobs from 1 January. The announcement came just a few hours after the Lerøy Seafood Group said it was making 339 people redundant at four of its sites.

Romsdal manager Hugo Heggal told the national newspaper VG: “We have today sent out layoff notices to 49 of our own employees and 45 hired (temporary) employees. In reality, it is everyone who is connected to our business.”

However there was a suggestion that the redundancies could be suspended if the government withdraws its tax plan.

Heggal said: “They will be laid off from 1 January if the government does not change its proposal to introduce ground rent taxation on the aquaculture industry.

He added: “This is the darkest day of my working life. Now there is only one actor who can save us and put this right – and that is the government.”

The move brings the number of announced redundancies so far to 433 and it is reasonably certain that more job losses will follow before the end of the year.

So far the Labour-Centre Party coalition seems determined to press ahead although it has hinted there could be amendments.

Romsdal is owned 45% by SalMar, 45% by Lerøy and 10% by the local municipality, Molde. Its production is mainly for Lerøy.

The centrally located company, then owned by Villa Salmon AS, was started in 2005 as a salmon slaughterhouse.

But as the market developed, filleting and further processing became and increasingly large part of the main business.