SKF reducing hours for Gothenburg workers amid virus outbreak

STOCKHOLM, March 25 (Reuters) - Sweden’s SKF, the world’s biggest maker of ball bearings, said on Wednesday it had struck a deal with Swedish unions to reduce working hours for around 1,500 white-collar workers in Gothenburg as it moves to cut costs amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Like many other industries, we see an impact on the current situation in the world economy and therefore we must work to adapt our operations and reduce costs, locally and globally,” SKF CEO Alrik Danielson said in a written comment to Reuters.

White-collar employees in Gothenburg will work between 40% and 80% of their normal hours from March 30.

SKF said earlier this month it was taking major steps to reduce cost as it flagged the outbreak of the new coronavirus may lead to a “material” hit to earnings from the end of March.

Reporting by Johan Ahlander