Without fanfare, the Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has eliminated 950 positions at its facilities around the world, including nearly 250 in Quebec at the end of 2015, learned the silver chain.
Reportedly, about 600 positions were eliminated in total in Canada including Ontario and Alberta. The company has a workforce of 12,000 employees in Canada out of a total of 40,000 worldwide.
The layoffs are in addition to 4,000 jobs eliminated by the company at the end of 2014 as part of another restructuring plan.
The spokesman of the company Louis-Antoine Paquin confirmed the cuts, but was not able to specify the impact to the Montreal headquarters. "This is part of a restructuring program linked to the performance of the business," he said in a telephone interview.
The cuts affect all areas of the business. Several employees have been encountered in recent weeks and some of them had to immediately leave the offices of the Montreal headquarters "escorted by members of the human resources".
"The headquarters of Montreal is losing more and more players," told us a source familiar with the matter.
Reportedly, some IT positions would be relocated in Romania, information that is however denied by the company.
These cuts are part of the framework of the reduction program "Step Change" which was launched by the company in the third quarter of last year because of "continued weakness in the economy."
The firm did however specified that this program would result in the mass layoffs. This program was completed "successfully" at the end of 2015, emphasized CEO Neil Bruce in a statement released by the company.
During the past year, SNC-Lavalin had reported profits of $ 404 million in decline face that obtained a year earlier, including in particular because of the sale of AltaLink, a power transmission company in Alberta. The company's revenue reached $ 9.6 billion, up $ 8.2 billion deal with obtained in 2014.
The company has been in turmoil for several years because of its relations with the former regime of Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. In Quebec, SNC-Lavalin's name was also named several times as part of the Charbonneau commission. The company operates in several sectors currently undergoing the downturn as oil and gas production and mining.