GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – P&G employs some 3,000 employees in Geneva, making it one of the canton’s largest employers, so when RTS public television discovered that the company had recently “quietly” laid off more than 100 people, a shudder went through local media. Was this the tip of an iceberg was the question being asked Thursday night 6 February.

The Tribune de Genève quickly picked up the story, recalling the brouhaha in 2012 when the P&G group in Ohio in the US announced that it would be laying off 10 percent of its staff worldwide, some 5,700 people, by the end of 2013. The company’s Geneva office said at the time that it would be affected and that a reduction of numbers from 3,150 to 3,000 employees appeared “optimal”. In the 15 months that followed the company says that 100 employees chose to take early retirement or to leave with comfortable severance packages that have included the company continuing to pay a year of private school fees, or to pay for courses for the employees, for example. RTS mentions 200 jobs lost.

Several other companies have announced layoffs in the past two weeks, generally seen as thinning operations to increase efficiency. Swiss Post will cut 100 jobs by the end of the year, while in Geneva Richmont jewelry and watch firm will let go 25 people and Bank Julius 100 as part of restructuring after the purchase of Merrill Lynch.

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