February 20, 2015 / 10:39 AM / in 3 years

Alstom to cut half of jobs at Swiss rail factory: labor group

ZURICH/PARIS (Reuters) - French engineering group Alstom ALSO.PA plans to cut about half the workforce at its Neuhausen factory in Switzerland, a Swiss labor group said on Friday.

The logo of Alstom is pictured on a building during an inaugural visit of the Alstom offshore wind turbine plants in Montoir-de-Bretagne, near Saint-Nazaire, western France, December 2, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Alstom said there would be a reorganization at the factory, which makes the wheels framework for trains, but that no decision had been made yet on any possible job cuts.

The changes come about a month after Switzerland’s central bank abandoned a cap on the franc against the euro, prompting export-reliant firms across the country to warn of a plunge in profits.

Between 50 and 60 of the 109 jobs at the Neuhausen factory are to be cut over the next two years, Employees Switzerland said.

“Apparently the Neuhausen site cannot compete with the other (Alstom) transport facilities in Europe in terms of pricing,” it said in a statement.

The French company, which is selling most of its power equipment business to General Electric GE.N to focus on its rail arm, said: “Alstom confirms that there is a workload issue in Neuhausen.”

It said management was working on finding solutions to mitigate the impact of the reorganization, adding it would keep “a minimum and relevant structure” for commercial and service activities in Neuhausen.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan in Zurich and Geert De Clercq in Paris; Editing by Pravin Char

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