Swiss steel mill Stahl Gerlafingen has received regulatory approval to reduce employee hours and is preparing to lay off 560 workers in a bid to cope with rising more than 12-fold electricity bills. This is reported by the local newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.
"High energy prices threaten our existence," the newspaper quoted CEO Alain Kreter as saying. “Perhaps no one will have to work on a reduced schedule. But it may also be that we have to send part of the workforce or all 560 employees home.”
The Swiss government last week launched a voluntary campaign urging consumers and businesses to conserve energy as looming winter shortages increase the likelihood of rolling blackouts.
NZZ said it plans a national stress test later this month to see how large customers will respond to capacity rationing.
Monika Ruehl, head of the business lobby Economiesuisse, last week cited civil defense estimates that a week-long power shortage could cost more than CHF 100 billion in economic damage to Switzerland.