Shares of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) rose Thursday after the Paris-based telecom-equipment supplier announced plans to cut 1,800 jobs in Belgium, France and Italy, according to Bloomberg.

France's largest telecom-equipment supplier will eliminate almost 500 jobs in Italy, one-fifth of its total in country, according to Philippe Saint-Aubin, a union representative for the company's European workers' council. The Paris-based company will also axe 10 percent of its workforce in Belgium and five percent in France.

The company, which follows Nokia Simens Networks and Erricsson AB in cutting its payroll as phone orders fall, employed 79,000 workers, according to its 2010 annual report.

Our priority is to continue to reduce our fixed and variable costs, Alcatel-Lucent spokesman Simon Poulter told Bloomberg, declining to comment on any specific changes in the workforce. We are doing that through a number of measures. They include the application of our global presence to maximize our workforce and apply talent effectively where it can generate value.

Between 600 and 700 workers are expected to gather in front of the company's Paris headquarters to protest a salary freeze, according to two union representatives who spoke with Bloomberg.

Alcatel-Lucent's CEO Ben Verwaayen in November lowered the company's profit outlook, as the European economy remained gloomy. He cut guidance for the 2011 operating profit margin from five percent to four percent, admitting fourth-quarter sales will be weaker than anticipated.

The company's ongoing struggles led S&P Equity Research to cut the company from Hold to Sell.

The company was up two cents before the opening bell to $1.97. In the last 52 weeks shares have ranged from $1.39 to $6.63.