Two of the UK's largest mobile operators have announced they will begin a programme of job cuts following consultations with employees starting next month.
Heaviest hit will be staff working at Everything Everywhere (EE) where job cuts could reach 1,200, which is in addition to a headcount reduction programme already underway. The company has denied newspaper reports that it was planning a further 3,000 job losses over four years.
"There are currently no plans to re-organise the business any further," said the company, claiming that the broadsheet article was "speculative".
This news report, carried by The Times newspaper, alleged that this plan to make widespread job cuts was aimed at helping EE generate the savings of £3.5 billion it had pledged from the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK. The report stated that a third of this amount would come from reducing staffing costs and property rationalisation.
Over at O2 UK it would appear that redundancies will affect hundreds rather than thousands of the company's 11,000-strong workforce.
"We don't expect radical job losses", said an O2 spokesman, adding that the move is "not a cost-cutting exercise. It's about getting the right business model going forward."
The cause of these cuts would appear to be due to the internal merger of O2's customer sales and customer services departments into one operation, with at least 10 senior managers changing their roles.
"The main driver for the changes is that we are no longer just a mobile phone company. We are a multi channel, multi product firm, offering services including broadband, media and entertainment," said the spokesman.
"The management structure in place is no longer suitable. We need to align ourselves with the needs of our customers, and there will be further organisational changes as we work through the process."
On a more positive note, O2 UK admitted it would attempt to protect consumer-facing roles and would look to increase the number of in-store technical advisors from 150 to 400--around one for each of its UK stores.
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