Operail to focus more on locomotive construction
Operail’s supervisory board has decided to approve the management board’s proposal for the restructuring of the Tapa depot, as a result of which Operail will direct more resources towards locomotive construction.
“This is our strategic management decision. We have recognised that in the current situation, it is important to direct more of the workforce than before towards more profitable business directions, which locomotive construction undoubtedly is,” said Chairman of the Operail Board, Raul Toomsalu. “As a result of this reorganisation, we will suspend wagon repairs at the Tapa depot and will be retrenching 21 workers and sending 37 for retraining.”
It is primarily welders, automators and wagon locksmiths that will be sent for retraining in order to ensure the necessary resources for the locomotive construction business area. “We are also working closely together with the Unemployment Insurance Fund to find new work for our people as quickly and painlessly as possible,” said Toomsalu. “We have continuously expanded our activity and created new jobs. During 2018, we grew by 49 employees – we started the year with 645 workers, and by December we numbered 694,” said Toomsalu about Operail’s personnel statistics.
According to Kuldar Leis, Chairman of Operail’s Supervisory Board, the decision was made for economic reasons. “The wagon repair services provided by Operail’s repair business unit at the Tapa depot have not been profitable for the company in recent years because they depend to a great extent on the market situation in neighbouring countries. For wagon repairs, we cannot compete with depots where labour costs, materials and spare parts are cheaper,” explained Leis. “With this step, Operail is confirming the general trend in Estonia of doing work that is smarter and has extra added value, and focusing less on work that is outsourced or subcontracted.”
According to the company, other services will continue to be provided at the Tapa depot at the same volume. “Wagon wheel set inspections and fabrication will continue, and we will also continue repairs at our service points,” explained Raul Toomsalu. “We will definitely continue to focus on freight transport and wagon rentals, and we will pay more attention to digitisation and providing services to new markets in the coming years.”