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Total to cut 555 jobs in France

March 11, 2009
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Total SA plans to cut 555 jobs in France over the next three years, according to the Associated Press. Europe''s third-largest oil company by revenue said the job cuts at its domestic refining and petrochemical operations were designed to help them adapt their production to falling oil consumption. The job reductions will be made through attrition, internal placement and an early retirement program -- not layoffs, the Paris-based company said in a statement. Total also said it would invest euro1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to upgrade refining facilities and improve the energy efficiency of a petrochemical plant in Normandy. Unions and politicians criticized the job cuts because they come just weeks after Total posted record profits in 2008: Net income rose 14 percent to euro13.9 billion last year, on revenue of euro180 billion. Total executives said the paring of jobs was needed to ensure a competitive edge at the oil giant with more than 96,000 employees in more than 130 countries.

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