About 100 jobs are scheduled to be cut at arms manufacturer FN Herstal under a cost-cutting plan presented on Friday by the company's management and aimed at getting it out of the red by next year.
The Liège-based firm, which is owned by the Walloon region, has been in the red for years, with turnover falling sharply between 2019 and 2021. This year there was an improvement and sales are expected to increase next year as well, but savings need to be made, otherwise it could post losses in 2022 and 2023, management said.
The company's management, which met this week with trade unions representing its employees, says it has been reeling from the high cost of energy and raw materials, among other things.
A spokesperson for FN Herstal confirmed on Friday that management's plan included both structural and cyclical measures. "There will be no collective redundancies, but a number of fixed-term contracts will not be replaced," the spokesperson said.
"There will also be a new early retirement plan and the number of consultants will be reduced." Several of the company's departments will be placed under scrutiny to improve operations, and wage conditions for new hires will be reviewed.
Cyclical measures will include relying on partial and temporary economic unemployment for all employees, according to the spokesperson, who said the precise modalities were still being negotiated with the trade unions.
About 1,500 people work at FN Herstal.