Carrefour to cut another 1500 jobs in France

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Carrefour wants to cut 1500 more jobs in France. The affected will mostly be employees in hypermarkets. The supermarket group is hoping to reach a mutual agreement on the cuts.


Hoping for a collective agreement

Carrefour has plans to let go of another 1500 employees in order to reduce the costs of its ailing hypermarket department. Union negotiations have begun and the group is hoping to manage the job cuts by reaching a 'mutual agreement' or 'rupture conventionelle collective' (RCC), which according to French employment law allows for collective resignations without an economic motive or the need for a social plan.

To achieve that, they'll have to reach a majority agreement with the unions, which is anything but certain according to newspaper Le Figaro. FO is the most powerful union, representing 47% of the employees, and it remains quite unconvinced. FO will not agree unless Carrefour can offer some guarantees in return, most likely on the wage conditions of the remaining hypermarket employees.


New step in the transformation plan

According to the unions, Carrefour has targeted some 1500 of the 60,000 hypermarket employees. The collective resignation in mutual agreement is a new law in France that has existed since the beginning of 2018. Previously, retail chain Pimkie intended to make use of the arrangement, but it failed to reach a majority agreement for its plan to cut 208 jobs – a requirement for the RCC.

In the case of Carrefour, the success of the negotiations is of major importance, because these cuts are still a part of the 2018 transformation plan. Last year, the distributor already cut 4,400 jobs in France, Belgium and Argentina in that context, and now hypermarkets in the domestic market are next. Top executive Alexandre Bompard wants to move towards fewer and smaller hypermarkets: Carrefour intends to lose 400,000 sqm of store by 2022. The assortment will also be more limited. Jewellery, some of the service registers and service counters will be removed in favour of more digitisation and automation.