August 29, 2012 / 4:42 PM / 6 years ago

Carrefour to cut 500-600 French jobs: unions

Customers walk to enter in a Carrefour supermarket in Nice August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour (CARR.PA), the world’s second-largest retailer, plans to cut up to 600 French jobs as its new boss slashes costs in a bid to turn the struggling company around, unions said on Wednesday.

“The group told the various works councils that the plan is to cut 500-600 jobs,” Force Ouvriere union representative Michel Enguelz told Reuters. “These will be voluntary departures and there will be no firings.”

The cuts will target jobs at the group’s headquarters and support functions such as marketing and purchasing across France, he added.

Carrefour could not be immediately reached for comment.

The meetings took place a day before new Chief Executive Georges Plassat was due to present financial results for the first half and his revival plan for the group.

Plassat, who has a record of company restructuring and a reputation as a ruthless cost-cutter, took over in May with a brief to reverse years of underperformance in Carrefour’s European markets and halt its domestic market share decline.

Carrefour had 112,440 workers on its French payroll as of December 31, 2011, makig it one of the country’s biggest private-sector employers.

With the French jobless rate at a 13-year high, the new Socialist government said last week it would look closely at the French retailer’s situation after unions warned of job cuts to come.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon

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