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Alcatel Optronics cuts more jobs

17 Jun 2002

The economic downturn forces global optical component maker Alcatel Optronics to slash 455 jobs.

Alcatel Optronics is to shed 25% of its workforce as part of its industrial redeployment plan announced today. In a move set to affect all of its manufacturing sites, the workforce will be reduced from its current level of 1805 to 1350 by the end of the year.

"We are implementing the plan in order to adjust to the persistent market downturn," said chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Giroux. "We expect all of the resulting cost savings to be effective in the fourth quarter."

Both the passive and active component sectors of the business are set to feel the impact of this plan. All optical fiber amplifer/optical interface subsystem assembly, currently based in Illkirch, France, will be transferred back to Alcatel Optronics' primary facility for active components in Nozay.

Staff at Nozay, and also the Lannion site in France, have been offered early retirement, part-time employment and prolonged leaves in order to reduce the headcount.

In Gatineau, Canada, fiber Bragg grating (FBG) manufacturing activities will be halted and transferred to Scotland, UK. The Scotland site will now house both the passive planar lightwave circuits and FBG product lines. The company hopes to maintain an R&D and commercial presence in Canada using Alcatel's facility at Kanata, Ontario as a base.

The company also intends to dispose of its MEMS and planar design software activities in the Netherlands via a management buy-out. Being non-telecoms, the MEMS business is not considered core to Alcatel Optronics.

The Plano facility in the US will continue to specialize in board assembly, albeit with a reduced headcount.

The company will now record a one-time charge in its second quarter. This is expected to be approximately EURO 60 million (USD 56 million).

Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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