More than 20 workers will lose their jobs when Samherji ceases processing shrimp at its processing plant Strýta in Akureyri (pop. 17,000), northeast Iceland, next spring. Strýta currently employs 30 people and ten will continue working in other divisions at Samerji.
The employees of Strýta were given the news at a meeting yesterday. Samherji promised that it would assist everyone in finding other employment in Akureyri via a contract with recruitment company Capacent and connections to other food companies in the town, Morgunbladid reports.
Managing director of Samherji’s land production Gestur Geirsson said it is sad that Strýta is closing, but that there were no other options. “For the past few years we have streamlined its operation considerably in hopes that the situation would improve, but it didn’t happen.”
Björn Snaebjörnsson, director of local labor union Eining-Idja, said it is a shock for the community that such a rooted company has given up. “I have been watching shrimp processing plants closing all over the country so it should not have come as a surprise, but it still always does.”
The operation of shrimp processing plants has proven difficult for the past few years, and due to poor catch—last year was the worst in the 40-year history of shrimp fishing in Iceland—it mainly relies on imported shrimp. The number of shrimp processing plants still operating has dropped from 30, at its peak, to five or less.