Lucent layoffs could extend to Europe

Lucent Technologies has contacted the works councils for its European operations to discuss its restructuring plans, the company said Friday. The talks with the worker organizations are a precursor to any move the telecommunication equipment maker may make to cut staff in Europe.

Lucent said in its July earnings announcement that it would lay off 15,000 to 20,000 workers, adding to the 19,000 job cuts it has made since the start of the economic downturn last year. Layoffs in Europe would be part of the cuts announced in July, not additional reductions, said Bill Price, a Lucent spokesman.

Lucent employs about 3,500 workers in Europe.

The works councils are European Union-mandated organizations a multinational company must establish in any EU country in which it maintains operations with over 1,000 employees. The councils transmit information from management to employees in each participating state about decisions made in one country that may affect the employees in another country.

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