Alcatel-Lucent announced Friday that it will reduce its ranks by 12,500 employees, according to published accounts. After last year’s merger of telecom-equipment rivals, the combined company announced job cuts of 9,000.
The new figure represents nearly 16 percent of the Paris-based company’s 80,000-strong global workforce.
“These are difficult but necessary decisions, and we will manage these reductions with care,” said chief executive officer Patricia Russo in a statement. “We are committed to serving our customers’ needs, with a competitive cost structure and effective operating model. We will maintain the appropriate workforce level to do that.”
“The cuts will be discussed at each level in each country with organizations representing employees at Alcatel-Lucent,” finance director Jean-Pascal Beaufret said in a conference call with journalists, according to Reuters.
Bloomberg reported that Alcatel-Lucent’s French unions have called for a strike on February 15 to protest the reductions. “We don’t contest that there is a ferocious price war,” said Jean-Baptiste Triquet of the Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail, speaking on behalf of the five main French unions represented within Alcatel-Lucent, according to the wire service. “The response is not fitting.”
Alcatel-Lucent also reported an $803 million net loss for the quarter ended December, the first period it has reported results as a combined company since the merger was finalized November 30. Even so, the company added that it would maintain its dividend at 16 cents, for a yield of 1.5 percent.