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Carrefour to cut 1,200 jobs and close two hypermarkets

23:34 25/01/2018

Staff at several Carrefour hypermarkets have walked out on strike after management announced 1,233 job cuts and the closure of two stores in a major restructuring plan.

Carrefour announced on Tuesday that it was cutting one in four jobs in France due to difficult trading conditions - but the 11,500 staff in Belgium had to wait until Thursday to find out their fate.

The Belgian restructuring plan announced by management will see the closure of hypermarkets in Liège-Angleur and Genk. Four others will be made smaller - Westerlo, Bruges Kruispoort, Haine-Saint-Pierre and Turnhout.

"These planned measures are essential to ensure the continued development of Carrefour in Belgium," the company said in a statement. Carrefour has 45 hypermarkets around Belgium - and it plans to open 30 new supermarkets and convenience stores, and 70 e-commerce collection points.

The CNE trade union said strike action was likely to continue until Monday. The 443 supermarkets and 296 mini-markets operating under the Carrefour Market and Carrefour Express names are unaffected, as they operate as franchises.

Consumer affairs minister Kris Peeters cut short his visit to Davos to address the Carrefour cutbacks. "Jobs can be saved," he said. "Experience shows that communication is essential. The prime minister and I will meet management and unions."

Brussels minister for employment and the economy, Didier Gosuin, has called a "crisis meeting" with his counterparts in Flanders and Wallonia.