Unions Protest New Job Cuts at Siemens

Siemens AG is cutting 15,000 jobs globally – 4 percent of the German engineering and electronics conglomerate’s overall workforce. Reuters says the move is part of an $8.1 billion cost-cutting measure to make the company more competitive with rivals General Electric and Switzerland’s ABB. A third of the cuts are in Siemens’ German home market, with 2,000 in the industrial products business and 1,400 in each of the company’s energy and infrastructure businesses there.

Siemens Building GermanyThe remaining locations to be impacted haven’t yet been announced, though the Hartford Courant is reporting that Siemens will shutter its Brookfield, Conn., manufacturing facility. The winding down of operations there will continue through September 2016, with the first layoffs among the location’s 256 employees coming in November. The facility makes diagnostic instruments for Siemens’ Healthcare Diagnostics subsidiary. Spokeswoman Susan Drew told the paper that the company would consolidate its Brookfield operations into its facility in Flanders, N.J. “Brookfield employees will be offered separation and outplacement benefits, as well as the opportunity to apply for other positions within the Siemens organization, including positions in Flanders,” she told the paper.

In 2012, Siemens Corporation, the company’s U.S. subsidiary, had about 60,000 employees in the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

In Germany, employee representatives responded quickly to the layoff announcement. Works Council Chief Lothar Adler told Reuters, “We oppose a margin-driven job-cutting program. Siemens needs a sustainable and future-oriented program that focuses on people and not just on margins.”

Siemens’ CEO and President Joe Kaeser took over in August, after the ouster of his predecessor Peter Löscher by investors unhappy with the company’s lagging profits. Kaeser pledged to continue Löscher‘s cost-cutting measures when he took over.

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