De Beers’ diamond lab making firm Element Six plans to cut 370 positions, according to the Irish press. In February, it cut work hours by half to reduce salary costs.
Element Six plans to reduce staff at its facility in the Shannon Industrial Estate, Ireland Online reported. According to the company, the Shannon operation continues to lose money despite the cost-cutting measures it took.
It will begin closing its manufacturing and distribution activities in Shannon by the end of this year, keeping 80 jobs in Research and Development, customer services and group support.
Element Six decided in February that some of its workers will work every other week, and has cut their salaries by half. The move proved to be unpopular, resulting in what was described as “angry scenes.”
The de-facto salary cut affected about 200 employees. Because it did not include sales personnel or senior management, tensions ran high, with calls for management to accept pay cuts as well.
The company, which makes diamonds for various industrial uses, did not disclose any details about the cause of the financial problems it is facing.
Element Six is part of the De Beers Group and jointly owned with Umicore Group. It posted revenues of $500 million in 2008.