Global steel conglomerate ArcelorMittal has confirmed it will cut 630 of the 6,000 jobs at its Czech plant in the western city of Ostrava to boost competitiveness.
ArcelorMittal received 700 requests under the voluntary redundancy programme offering employees the equivalent of 11 to 24 months' salary depending on seniority as part of a compensation package.
"The number of 630 is not definitive, the process is still underway. The plan covers both blue and white collar workers of all ages," ArcelorMittal Ostrava spokeswoman Vera Breiova told AFP Tuesday.
The Czech branch of the company already shed 1,200 jobs in 2009. The first voluntary lay-offs are to take effect on January 31.
Tougher economic times in Europe appear to have dictated the company's decision. Breiova told AFP it was taken as "part of efforts to improve worker productivity.
"Considering the uncertain situation currently dominating the European steel market, the company must be competitive," she added.
Meanwhile, Vitezslav Prak, a local trade union official at the plant has signalled unions will be seeking wage hikes for remaining employees.