PARIS Oct 15 Alcatel-Lucent's future
is at risk after the telecoms company missed key technological
shifts and has been in the red since 2006, its chief executive
Michel Combes warned on Tuesday as workers prepared to protest
against job cuts.
The Franco-American group last week unveiled plans to slash
10,000 jobs worldwide, including 900 in France, arguing the cuts
were its last chance to stem years of losses and turn the
Labour unions have called for workers to take the streets in
Paris on Tuesday to protest against the plans, which involve
closing several sites in the country.
The French government, battling against years of
de-industrialisation and high unemployment, has also warned it
could use new labour rules to block the plan.
"This company could disappear," Combes told Europe 1 radio,
noting it had been loss-making since Alcatel, once one of
France's biggest conglomerates, merged with Lucent in 2006.
"The plan sets targets that are key to the survival of the
company ... But it can obviously be improved. That's the point
of the social talks that begin today," he said.
Combes said he had four months to negotiate with unions the
terms and the timeframe of the restructuring.
Combes, who took the helm of Alcatel-Lucent in April, said
he had already put aside a plan by predecessor Ben Verwaayen
that aimed to completely end the group's activities in France.