Big job losses announced at Latvian Railways

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The management of Latvia's state-owned railway company Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz) announced large-scale job losses within the company January 16.

Around 1,500 employees are set to lose their jobs by the end of the year, officials told journalists.

"Taking into account the negative tendencies within cargo transportation and the necessity to significantly increase the efficiency of Latvijas dzelzceļš operating activities, thus stabilizing the company, along with a significant reduction of operating costs, VAS Latvijas dzelzceļš plans to terminate employment relations with about 1,500 employees," said LDz chairman Māris Kleinbergs.

Kleinbergs said it was a "painful" but necessary step to implement the layoffs and that they would be introduced gradually and in cooperation with the State Employment Agency in an effort to ensure the workers dispensed with can find alternative employment.

The measure would help "ensure a more modern and customer-friendly business model," he said, as the company "is actively working on attracting new partners and diversifying its target markets."

On January 1 this year, Latvijas dzelzceļš had 6,265 employees, while the larger LDz Group including various subsidiaries had 9,950 employees.

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