French workers at Sanofi-Aventis walked out yesterday inprotest to the company’s latest job cuts.

Nine French unions called for the strike after the companyannounced a reorganisation of its French commercial division in December, whichwould see some 575 jobs out of 2,800 cut by the end of this year. Alreadyworkers have taken industrial action on 9 December last year.

However, the unions claim up to 916 jobs could go ifunoccupied posts and changing job roles are included. This is additional to the2,700 roles already lost since the merger between Sanofi and Aventis in 2005.

“The reality is that these job cuts are part of a vast twobillion euro savings plan that group management wants to achieve by 2013. Allthe group’s businesses are affected,” the unions said in a statement. 

The company was unavailable for comment at time ofpublishing.

Sanofi-Aventis’ industrial action follows a series ofwalkouts by AstraZeneca staff in Macclesfield, England in September followingpension cuts.