Glass packager Vetropack is to cut 400 jobs at its Ukraine factory damaged by military fighting.

It said damages at its Gostomel, Ukraine glass container manufacturing facility are so severe that resumption of operations is not possible for the time being. There is also still military activity in the region.

Initial investigations into the situation have shown that only clean-up work as well as the protection and preservation of assets (including management of used glass and raw materials) are possible there in the medium term.

Approximately two thirds of the 600 staff will be lost.

“We are aware of the impact this step will have on our employees in Ukraine – but we see no alternative at the moment,” said Johann Reiter, CEO of Vetropack Holding.

“The damage to our plant caused by military action is significant, although not irreparable. Nevertheless, in our estimation, it will not be possible to immediately resume our production in Gostomel – even if the war ends, which is currently not foreseeable.”

The company has no plans to permanently close the site but wishes to reopen it after it has been repaired.

In the coming weeks, a core team will continue to assess the situation on site. The team will arrange for initial steps to be taken in preparation for the eventual restoration of the production facility. This includes securing the glass packaging and raw materials stored on site.

At the beginning of the Russian attack, Vetropack released all employees from work with continued payment of their full salaries. “This measure is only suitable as a temporary solution – not for the duration of a war that may extend over many months,” said Mr Reiter.

“Financing these jobs is directly related to the production and sale of glass packaging. Therefore, without production, we cannot sustain it.”

Vetropack will be looking for possible solutions for the affected employees in cooperation with the plant management.

As the majority of the workforce are men of military age, they are currently not allowed to leave the country.

Therefore, they cannot be deployed to other Vetropack plants. Nevertheless, 35 employees have already been able to relocate abroad. Some of them are already working at other Vetropack sites.