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Alcatel plans to axe 5,000 jobs as French unemployment nears three million

Reuters/Charles Platiau/Files

French telecoms giant Alcatel-Lucent on Thursday announced i twill shed 5,000 jobs worldwide as France’s unemployment rose for the 14th month running. Job losses are also expected at Air France and pharmaceuticals group Sanofi.


Announcing losses of 254 million euros, Alcatel-Lucent said it plans to make savings of 1.25 billion euros by the end of 2013 and axe 5,000 of its 72,500 employees around the world. Only 8,470 of those jobs are in France, 10,500 in China, 8,800 in India and 14,000 in the US.

Parliamentary elections 2012

The latest news comes as a further blow to President François Hollande’s pledge to create jobs and promote growth after PSA Peugeot-Citroën’s confirmation that it will axe 8,000 jobs.

The government's plan to prop up the ailing car industry has been attacked from both its right and its left.

French unemployment crept nearer to the three million mark in June with 23,700 people added to the jobless figures.

At 2.945 million the figure is nearly 10 per cent of the workforce. A further 1.4 million are on short-time working, according to official figures.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Sanofi boss Chris Viehbacher declared that a 9.6 per cent drop in profits would “obviously have an impact on jobs” during a telephone conference presenting the results and announcing plans to make savings in the 2012-2015 period.

Unions predict job losses at research laboratories in Toulouse, Montpellier and Strasbourg.

Air France last month said it would slash 5,000 jobs but has failed to reach agreement with stewards’ unions on a redundancy plans. On Thursday it announced bonuses of up to 60,000 euros to pilots who agreed to move to its low-cost unit, Transavia.

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