Carrefour aims to reduce costs after the impact of bad yields in countries hit by the economic crisis. (Photo: Stock File)
Carrefour to cut its workforce in France
Friday, August 31, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Carrefour plans to reduce its workforce and eliminate about 600 management positions in France in an attempt to improve the financial results of the second largest retailer in the world.
The move is part of the plans devised by the new CEO, Georges Plassat, to reduce costs and reposition the company on the right track after several years of weak performance in the European Union.
According to Michel Enguelz, Force Ouvriere union representative, "the group told different workers’ committees that the plan is to cut 500-600 jobs," Reuters agency reported.
"These are voluntary resignations and there will not be layoffs," he added.
The posts to be eliminated belong to the group's headquarters and to support functions, such as marketing and purchasing.
Until 31 December, 2011, Carrefour had a workforce of 112,440 employees in France, which ranked it as the largest private sector employer in the country.
The retailer unions fear there could be further cuts if the economic climate continues worsening.
Carrefour reduced its loss to EUR 31 million in the first half of this year compared with EUR 249 million, which had been lost in the first half of 2011. However, despite this improvement, the group continues being affected by the impact of the weakness of the Spanish market.
Plassat’s revitalizing plan is expected to help face debts, cut costs and reverse the excessive centralization of the administration.
"We have to reduce our structure cost so as to place resources in the stores. There is going to be dialogue with the people whose jobs we believe are no longer useful at present," Plassat assured the newspaper Le Monde.
"We are keeping the mature countries, we are going to defend them, other major countries are Brazil and China. In some countries, such as Poland, we could adjust our positions. In Indonesia and Turkey, we are considering what to do," he added.
Moreover, Carrefour Singapore announced that it will close the two stores operating in the country later this year.
The company says this decision was taken "because the prospects for expansion and growth do not contribute to reaching a leadership position in the medium and long term."
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By Analia Murias