Pernod is restructuring parts of its business as it looks to save EUR150m annually over three years

Pernod is restructuring parts of its business as it looks to save EUR150m annually over three years

Pernod Ricard has defended its position ahead of a strike by workers at its South Korea unit, while separately a sales team restructure in the country is expected to bring job losses.

A strike is planned for Thursday (June 26) over an “early retirement plan” (ERP) put forward by the company, which would see nearly 30 employees leave the unit, according to The Korea Times. Union leaders last week submitted a petition to South Korea's Ministry of Employment and Labor urging state intervention, it was reported.

“Reducing workforce is normally considered a last resort to save a financially-troubled company," Kim Guee-hyun, leader of the firm's labor union was reported as saying. "But, this is not the case. Pernod Ricard Korea is financially healthy enough.” 

However, a Pernod spokesperson told just-drinks: “The ERP application has been wholly voluntary. The company recommended employees to consider the application positively, but has not exerted any coercion to apply to ERP.”

Paul Tran, Pernod Ricard Korea's HR director said the scheme is a "way for the company to deal with the stagnating human resources structure and to control its structure cost". 

Meanwhile, Pernod's Korean unit is restructuring its sales team so it “operates more efficiently in the changing market circumstances,” the spokesperson said. “As a result, some sales employees came to have no position in the new organisation,” the spokesperson said. “The company will duly consult the union and also the employees concerned to find out an appropriate solution for them.”

Last week, Pernod revealed it is reorganising the support staff divisions for its French distribution units, likely to lead to around 60 job cuts

The measures are part of a wider global cost-cutting initiative by the Paris-headquartered firm - called Allegro - announced in February. The move is aiming to save EUR150m (US$204m) annually over three years.

Expert analysis

The Future of the Still & Sparkling Wine Market in South Korea to 2018

The Future of the Still & Sparkling Wine Market in South Korea to 2018

Summary • The Future of the Still & Sparkling Wine Market in South Korea to 2018 is the result of Canadean’s extensive market research covering the Still & Sparkling Wine market in South Korea. • The...read more