ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Carrefour : 500 à 600 emplois supprimés en France
Translated Saturday 1 September 2012, by Bill Scobleand reviewed by
Carrefour could cut 500 to 600 jobs at its different headquarters in France, and this is just the first stage in a cost reduction scheme favored by the new CEO of the retail corporation. The shareholders were enchanted by the news, of course.
The cuts are to be made on the basis of voluntary retiring and without anyone’s actually being fired, representatives of the Force Ouvrière and CFDT trade unions told Reuters. This follows meetings of the works councils at the corporation’s various headquarters in the evening of Aug. 29, where management gave the usual speech – Carrefour must “adapt its staffing at the sites and in the support services” – in other words cut 500 to 600 jobs – in order to reinforce its efficiency and competitiveness. The trade unions say they fear more waves of job-shedding if the economic situation continues to deteriorate.
This comes as no surprise. Georges Plassat, the CEO of Carrefour, had indicated to the shareholders’ general assembly, as early as June, that reducing overheads and headquarters costs was one of the priorities in “turning the corporation around,” in other words, increasing dividends. The shareholders understood the gesture perfectly, since the corporation’s share price rose by 6.8 percent on the morning of Aug. 30.
According to the trade unions, these job cuts might be only the first stage in a process that could concern over 3,000 employees, not only at the corporation’s different headquarters, but also at the hypermarkets, whose non-food articles (home appliances, electronic devices, textiles, and leisure articles) face serious competition from specialist stores and Internet sites. Carrefour is one of France’s biggest private employers, with 112,400 employees in France and 412,400 around the world.