FedEx Express reveals plans to cut its European workforce by thousands of employees, as the company plans to establish a dual-hub model in Europe.
FedEx Express plans to fire between 5,500 and 6,300 employees in Europe as part of its TNT network integration effort, the company announced on January 19, 2021. The layoffs would affect operational teams and back-office functions.
“A central pillar of the proposals presented today involves physical integration of the FedEx Express and TNT air networks,” the company wrote in a statement.
FedEx Express currently operates two duplicate air networks out of two main hubs in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Liege Airport (LGG) in Belgium. Instead, the company wants to establish a “dual-hub model”. According to a statement by FedEx, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle would serve as a primary hub, universally linking all European flight points, while Liège would operate as a secondary hub.
The company already operates a similar model in the United States, where Memphis serves as the universal hub and Indianapolis as the secondary hub.
“We understand that while these intended changes are absolutely necessary to put us on the right path, our team members, particularly in Liège, will be concerned about the future,” Dave Canavan, Chief Operating Officer of FedEx Express Europe, is cited in the company’s statement. “We will do everything we can to conduct these consultations constructively, with a mindset of collaboration and care for those impacted.”
The company implied that layoffs will take place in multiple European countries, but did not reveal which ones in particular or how many people would be affected in each country.
Instead, the company revealed support measures would be offered to affected employees and would differ by country. They may include voluntary redundancy, reassignment to other roles and priority access to open positions. Over the next 18 months, FedEx Express prepares to carry out a consultation process with work councils representatives.
FedEx acquired TNT in 2016. So far, the company has already integrated IT systems and “key parts” of air, road and ground networks, according to the company.
“We acquired the TNT business in 2016 for one reason: to open up the world for our customers by connecting the global FedEx air network with TNT’s extensive European road network to become a top tier player in Europe,” explained Karen Reddington, President of FedEx Express Europe. “This process, whilst difficult, will allow us together with the completion of the network integration to operate as one company offering greater coverage, speed of delivery, extended operational capabilities and enhanced service levels.”