French steel pipes maker Vallourec has announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs across its global workforce over the next two years. Three quarter of these job reductions will be located in Europe. Overall, the announced job cuts represent almost 10 per cent of the company’s global workforce.
The planned job cuts are in addition to the 1,400 job losses that the company had already announced in February 2015. As part of its cost saving measures, it is planned that the company’s European tube and steel production units will be downsized by a third.
The restructuring measures are part of the company’s wider efforts to restore competitiveness and reduce operating costs. The company recorded a sharp decline in its profit margins in the first quarter of 2015, caused by a severe fall in activity amongst its customers in the oil and gas market following a fall in the oil prices of nearly 50 per cent. It is foreseen that the implementation of the job cuts will enable the company to achieve savings of €350 million euros per year in its operating costs from 2017 onwards.
The company announced that employee representatives had been informed of the decision, and that consultations would be initiated to minimise the social impact of the proposed job reductions and facilitate the return to work of the affected employees.