Rebir, a Latvian electrical equipment manucfacturer is laying off 1000 of its 1200 workers. Rebir is one of the few Soviet era factories which managed to survive throughout the 1990s transition to a free-market economy... only to close its doors now.
According to the news report, the insiders tell a story about younger people from Eastern Latvia leaving for higher wages in UK or Ireland, older workers retiring... and Rebir left with not enough qualified workers. The company tried to fix that by ordering some parts from China... only to discover that the parts and the resulting equipment is not of good enough quality and to see their buyers go away to another equipment supplier.
We don't have an economic crisis in Latvia yet. A few months ago, the unemployment rate was at 5%, the lowest level in more than 10 years and even now, it's only slightly above that level. But reports of this type are worrying. If that's typical of what's happening in Latvia now, we may have more difficult times ahead.