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PODCAST: Axopar Employees to Fight the War in Ukraine

Production Line to the Front Lines

Jan-Erik Viitala

Jan-Erik Viitala

A ride on an Axopar with the wind in your hair and sun on your face feels about as far removed from the war in Ukraine as you can get. Power & Motoryacht recently learned, however, that those two worlds are colliding. According to Axopar Founding Partner Jan-Erik Viitala, Ukrainian employees from their facility and their other OEMs that build their boats in Poland are laying down their tools on the production line and picking up machine guns on the front lines of the war against Russia.

While some companies might be displeased with their employees walking off the job, the Finnish-headquartered company is standing behind its employees that are joining the war effort. Viitala says that they will be welcomed back to work whenever they return. Taking things a step further, he said the company is in regular talks about how they can support their employees that are leaving while also working to find homes for their families that are fleeing to Poland.

Axopar certainly isn’t alone in this unexpected upheaval; countless brands rely on Ukrainian workers in Polish facilities, including Groupe Beneteau, Galeon, Sunreef and many more. To better learn what this war means for those boatbuilders and the brands they’re leaving behind, we had a conversation with Viitala.

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Podcasts Produced by John V. Turner