Industry News: Watchmakers at Piaget & Vacheron Constantin Protest Job CutsEmployee unions rejected the Swiss watchmakers' plans to trim their workforces to cope with the downturn in business.
Shortly after announcing a sweeping management overhaul and slumping profits last month, Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont declared it would cut 211 jobs at two subsidiary brands, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin. The axe would fall three locations – Geneva, Côte-aux-Fées and Vallée de Joux.
That brought out some 300 protestors in Geneva, and another 400 outside the town hall of Le Sentier, located in heart of Swiss watchmaking (and also the hometown of Philippe Dufour).
Earlier this week, 150 employees again demonstrated outside the Vacheron Constantin manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates – nicknamed “Plan-les-Watch for the heavy concentration of watchmakers – the industrial suburb of Geneva that’s also home to Piaget, according to Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve. This was a result of union members rejecting Richemont’s concession to reduce job cuts by a fifth. The unions that represent the watchmakers’ employees is demanding reduced working hours instead.
Both sides are now back at the negotiating table.
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