Alcatel-Lucent to Axe 15% of its French Workforce


Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) is reportedly planning to cut its home-country workforce by about 15% as part of efforts to axe 5,490 jobs worldwide in a cost-saving plan unveiled in July, according to several media reports citing a French union.

A majority of cuts will come from Europe and India, with some 3,300 jobs set to be pulled from Europe, including 1,490 in France, according to France’s CFDT union.

Continue Reading Below

Earlier this week, the Economic Times reported that the telecom equipment maker will cut 1,000 in India.

“We are in shock,” said Isabelle Guillemot of the French union, according to reports.

Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent unveiled a plan late July to chop more than 5,000 jobs globally, or about 6.6% of its global workforce, in an effort to realize savings of about $1.64 billion annually by the end of 2013.

The cost-cutting move came after the telecom network posted a loss of $312 million for the second quarter and a 7.1% drop in sales. Shares of Alcatel-Lucent are up about 4.2% to $1.12 on Thursday but are still sitting near life-time lows.

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen said this summer that the cuts were necessary to help mitigate softening demand for network equipment and rising competition. The company planned to start axing jobs by the end of 2013 and said reductions would be made across all business units outside of R&D.

The company, which as of today employs about 76,000 people around the world, did not immediately respond to for a comment on this story.

Union representatives from France on Thursday reportedly pledged to fight the job cuts in their country, which reportedly represent more than 15% of Alcatel-Lucent’s total staff in France.

Guillemot said the move was a “human and industrial catastrophe” and said workers will hold protests on Friday.