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Ikea to cut 120 Belgian jobs in major restructuring
Ikea has announced plans to cut between 100 and 120 jobs in Belgium as part of a worldwide restructuring.
Staff at the Swedish furniture giant's Belgian head office in Zaventem will be particularly affected. Ikea has five stores in Belgium and employs 4,000 people.
"We did not expect such a flourishing business to undergo such a large restructuring," said one union rep. "In the Zaventem head office we could lose nearly half of the workforce, which is pretty astonishing."
According to unions, some behind-the-scenes functions such as human resources will be centralised. At present, each store in Belgium has its own HR team employing five or six people.
The first meeting between management and unions is scheduled for next Monday. Economy minister Kris Peeters said he was following the issue closely.
Ikea wants to "adjust its organisational structure" in 30 of the countries in which it operates, with the loss of 7,500 jobs in total.
"This is part of a planned global transformation to make Ikea more convenient and affordable for more people," the company said in a statement.
Ikea plans to invest further in its online sales and logistics centres as well as developing new city-centre concept stores.