Oct 8 - French telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide in a bid to slash costs. Hayley Platt reports.
Alcatel-Lucent hasn't made a profit in years. And last year its net loss was 1.2 billion euros. Stiff competition, especially from China, and a slowdown in Europe has taken its toll. It's forced the French telecoms equipment maker to take drastic action. 10,000 jobs are being axed - that's 14 percent of the 72,000-strong workforce. The cuts are part of a plan to slash 1 billion euros in costs across the globe. They follow a decision to focus on 4G mobile and high-speed broadband. Chief operating officer Philippe Guillemot says the job losses will be spread across Europe, Asia and America. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF ALCATEL-LUCENT PHILIPPE GUILLEMOT SAYING: "With regard to France, 900 jobs will be cut to secure employment and two establishments will be closed, Toulouse and Rennes. But this is mainly a transformation plan to make the French group a stronghold for research and development, focused almost exclusively on future technologies." The news provoked an angry reaction from France's CFDT union. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CFDT UNION LEADER AT ALCATEL-LUCENT HERVE LASSALLE SAYING: "Tomorrow we will talk with the workers everywhere in France to organise demonstrations." The firm is the product of a merger in 2006 between France's Alcatel and US-based Lucent. But savings were soon lost. And Julian Watson from IHS says it hasn't been an easy marriage. SOUNDBITE: Julian Watson, Senior manager, IHS Electronics and Media, saying (English): "It's a player in the mobile market sector but it's out shone by Ericsson and increasingly Nokia Siemens networks is doing quite well in the mobile segment as well. It needs to be at the forefront for instance of driving fibre to the home, fibre to the premise deployment in Europe and other parts of the world to win contracts with operators. The turnaround plan is expected to renew speculation of a possible takeover. Nokia was reportedly discussing the possibility as recently as last month.