A round of ING Groep NV (ADR) (NYSE:ING) layoffs have upset union workers.
The ING layoffs will have the company reducing its workforce by 7,000. 3,500 of the layoffs will occur in Belgium and 2,300 in the Netherlands. 1,000 of the layoffs will occur at suppliers for the financial company. This means that the layoffs represent about 12% of ING’s 52,000 employees.
Union workers aren’t happy with the ING layoffs, which are the largest since it received a government bailout in 2009. They claim that the government didn’t bailout the company just so it could lay off employees. Others called the whole announcement a “horror show.”
“You have to announce these programs and these intentions at a time when you can afford them,” Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING, told Fortune. “We’re strong right now, we have good results, we are growing and then you have to do the repairs, and not when you don’t have any choice anymore.”
ING also estimates that the layoffs will allow it to save $1 billion a year by 2021. It is expecting to suffer costs of roughly $1.2 billion in connection to the layoffs. The ING layoffs come as the company plans to switch its focus from physical locations to digital platforms.
The ING layoffs won’t have employees losing their jobs all at once. The company is planning to spread the layoffs out over the time span of a couple of years. Union workers that are disgruntled by the layoffs are planning to go on strike.
ING stock was down by 1% as of Monday afternoon.