March 13, 2018 / 3:11 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Retailer Carrefour's unions call for March 31 strike over job cuts

(Adds Carrefour’s reaction)

PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) - The main unions at Carrefour called on Tuesday for a nationwide strike on March 31 to protest against job cuts at Europe’s largest supermarket retailer.

Under pressure to increase profits, Carrefour boss Alexandre Bompard announced in January cost savings of 2 billion euros ($2.47 billion) by 2020.

Those cost savings proposals include a voluntary redundancy plan for 2,400 employees at its French head office, and plans to sell or close 273 underperforming Dia stores, which employ up to 2,100 people.

“The CFDT and FO unions at Carrefour call for all workers in all the group’s companies to participate in a joint action on March 31,” the CFDT union said in a statement.

The unions are also opposed to a sharp cut in employees’ profit share payout to 57 euros from 600 euros per worker.

Carrefour tied the drop in employees’ profit share to lower 2017 group earnings.

“In view of the impact of this decline on employees’ purchasing power, notably on low wages, management has told social partners it wanted to raise the amount (of profit share) and will meet social partners this week to discuss the issue,” a group spokeswoman said.

The planned March 31 strike comes after a walkout at the start of the month at the company’s Massy headquarters near Paris.

In February, Carrefour, France’s largest private sector employer, announced a 34 percent cut to its annual dividend.

This followed a 14.7 percent fall in 2017 operating profit, which Carrefour blamed on the poor performance of its French operations. ($1 = 0.8087 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Caroline Pailliez; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Bate Felix)

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