Zenith: 70 redundancies according to unions


Academy Watch from Zenith
PARIS, 12 June 2009 (AFP) – Swiss horologer Zenith, part of the globally leading luxury group LVMH, is negotiating with the representatives of its staff over new reductions in personnel, which will, according to a union source, translate to seventy redundancies, around a third of all employees.

“Negotiations are ongoing,” stated a spokesperson for the French group, refusing to give any further clarification.

“The redundancies are confirmed, there will be seventy. Now the period of consultation of employees and unions has started,” stated a union source for his part, confirming the news in the Swiss press.

Zenith currently employs close to two hundred employees.

Confronted with a drop in its activity, the Swiss horologer already cut twenty-four positions in January through the non-replacement of departing employees.

The company has also changed its CEO: Jean-Frédéric Dufour, a director of the Swiss horologer and jeweler Chopard, replaced Thierry Natafle on the 1st of June.

The horology-jewellery division of LVMH, which employs a total of 2,000 people across the world, has suffered from the effects of the crisis in 2008: its sales have decreased by 2%, excluding currency effects and peripherals.

Consultants from Bain & Company estimate that the global luxury market should plunge by 20% in only the first half of 2009, of which 12% will come from horology-jewellery.

In addition to Zenith, LVMH holds the Swiss brands Tag Heuer and Hublot, the French labels Chaumet, Dior Montres and Fred and the British De Beers.

By Jonathan Fulwell (Source: AFP)

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