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SIG cuts jobs and sells arms division

The Swiss industrial company, SIG, has announced major plans for restructuring, including the sale of its ailing arms division and the loss of 370 jobs in Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

This content was published on January 13, 2000 - 12:04

The Swiss industrial company, SIG, has announced major plans for restructuring that will cost 370 jobs in Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

At a news conference in Zurich, the Schaffhausen-based company said around 60 people would take early retirement, but it said redundancies could not be ruled out.

In Switzerland, 110 jobs will be cut at SIG's plant in Ecublens in canton Vaud, and another 80 at Neuhausen in canton Schaffhausen. One hundred are to be cut in Germany and 80 in the US.

The conglomerate, which manufactures a range of products from packaging machinery to handguns, said it was selling its ailing arms division as part of the revamp. No buyer has yet come forward for the weapons section.

SIG said the overhaul was necessary because operating income for 1999 was expected to be well below the previous year's level of around SFr170 million.

Orders and sales remain steady, it said, but increased costs had eaten into its profit margins. SIG said around SFr100 million would be set aside to finance the restructuring programme.

Trade union officials criticised the move, saying the jobs were being sacrificed at the altar of shareholder value. It said there was no economic justification for the cuts.

From staff and wire reports

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