SKF, a Swedish manufacturer of bearings and seals, has announced its plan to dismiss 300 white-collar employees. The dismissal programme will impact all units in Sweden, but the focus lies on the Gothenburg site, where approximately 250 employees will be affected. According to the company, these dismissals are necessary since the demand for their products has decreased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, it is expected that the restructuring will enforce some business innovation, implying that some activities will be digitalised and automated.
In March 2020, the company temporarily laid off 1,500 white-collar employees as a response to the decreased demand. In May 2020, SKF withdrew these lay-offs since the Swedish authorities announced that companies that distribute money to their shareholders are not entitled to financial aid from the state. According to the company, this has contributed to the necessity to dismiss employees. One of the trade union representatives argues that this dismissal came unexpectedly, while another representative agrees with the company’s motion, explaining that limitations to financial aid have contributed to the decision to dismiss employees.