The sea food factory Bakkavík in Bolungarvík in Iceland’s Westfjords gave notice of termination to 48 of its 60 workers last weekend, which is a huge blow for a community of 1,000 inhabitants.
Bakkavík is by far the largest employer in Bolungarvík. The factory halted its shrimp processing in March, resulting in four employees at the factory losing their jobs. RÚV reports.
The factory recently sold its fishing quota.
Two thirds of Bakkavík’s employees have a one-month term of notice and one-third have a three-month term, but it is unclear whether there will be enough seafood to process for the next three months.
“This comes as a shock to us,” said Bakkavík employee Sigrídur Línberg Runólfsdóttir. She said the employees had seen this coming after the quota was sold, but had hoped for the best.
“I don’t know what happens now,” Runólfsdóttir said. “There are not many available jobs here, not for so many people.”
According to a statement from Bakkavík, 12 employees will remain at the factory and it is the company’s hope that there will be enough seafood for its production to continue.
“This is just horrible, especially in the wake of the elections,” said Bolungarvík resident Kristný Pálmadóttir. “But this is exactly what the government has been working towards, it is clear that they want to wipe us out.”
“If they don’t act now and save what is left, it is pointless to come to us and ask for votes,” Pálmadóttir concluded.