Staff working for Alcatel-Lucent, the world’s second largest telecoms and mobile network supplier, have called for a strike to protest at plans to cut 12,500 jobs.
The company announced it would make the cuts to it workforce worldwide over the next three years in response to disappointing financial results and ongoing merger activities. Revenue fell for the fourth quarter, and plunged the company into loss when its most recent financial results were released last Friday.
The performance was described as "disappointing", but the long-term prospects of the merger of US Alcatel and French Lucent Technologies, which completed 1 December last year, remain positive the company said.
Fourth-quarter revenue dropped 16% year-on-year on a comparable basis, to €4.42 billion (£2.95bn) from €5.25bn, while revenue for the full year fell to €18.25bn from €18.57bn. The disappointing performance was due to uncertainty among customers and staff about the outcome of the merger, and to a highly competitive market in the US during the fourth quarter, the company said.
Post-merger, the company makes around three-quarters of its revenue from carrier products. Revenue of €1.47 billion came from fixed-line telecommunications equipment in the fourth quarter, €1.24 billion from wireless equipment, and €510 million from converged products. Enterprise networking equipment accounted for €410 million, and services for €740 million. Demand was particularly strong for enterprise internet protocol (IP) telephony equipment in Europe, the company said.
As it proceeds with the integration of Alcatel and Lucent, the company expects to realise cost savings of €600 million this year, and a total of €1.7 billion in cost savings within three years of the merger. The savings will come from optimisation of its supply chain, and the elimination of duplicate resources and products, and the controversial 12,500 job losses.
It was not known if the strike would go ahead at time of writing. Alcatel-Lucent had made no comment in response.
Additional reporting by Peter Sayer, IDG New Service