Home Dutch News Laurus scraps 1,300 supermarket jobs

Laurus scraps 1,300 supermarket jobs

Published on 11/05/2004

11 May 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch-French retail giant Laurus will cut 1,300 of its 8,977 full-time supermarket jobs at its Edah, Super de Boer and Konmar outlets in the Netherlands and has warned that more cuts could follow, it was reported Tuesday.

The company said the job losses were necessary to strengthen the market competitiveness of the three supermarket chains, Dutch public news service NOS reported. Workers were informed of the plans on Monday.

Most of the job redundancies will take place at Edah supermarkets, where 750 staff — or 20 percent of the total workforce — will lose their jobs. These job losses are designed to save Laurus EUR 14 million annually.

Of the 1,969 full-time workers employed by Super de Boer, 15 percent of jobs will be lost, accounting for 300 employees. This will save Laurus EUR 7 million each year.

There will be 240 jobs cut from Konmar supermarkets, which has in total 3,525 jobs. The cuts will yield EUR 6 million in savings on an annual basis.

Laurus has estimated the restructuring will cost EUR 25 million. The restructuring in the Edah supermarkets will start in the next couple of weeks. The job losses at Super de Boer supermarkets will start in the summer, followed by Konmar.

Company chief Harry Bruijniks also said on Radio 1 on Tuesday that more job cuts could follow. The latest losses come after the company slashed more than 1,000 jobs in its distribution centre and main office last year.

Laurus — which employs in total about 27,000 workers — attributed the supermarket job losses to the ongoing price war which started last year and the economic slowdown.

Trade union FNV Bondgenoten said the job losses at Laurus — which is partly owned by French company Casino — represented the first victims of the price war and said they were unacceptable.

Official Ron Peeters said the company planned to make savings among middle-management employees, meaning those who have been employed on a long-term basis, offering Laurus good service.

Peeters also said they were being replaced by cheaper labour and claimed it was “scandalous” how Laurus was treating its trusted workers.

Trade union De Unie said the job losses were “sad” and an official expressed surprise at the large amount of job losses.

Laurus will meet with unions on Wednesday to discuss the restructuring plans and a social plan for the sacked workers. Advice has also been requested from Works Council. Forced redundancies have not been ruled out.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news