Update: Vodafone UK cuts 500 jobs, more likely in Europe

Vodafone confirmed today (Tuesday) that it would be cutting 500 jobs within its UK subsidiary. The telecoms union Connect had warned earlier this week that the company was about to declare significant redundancies within its UK staff of 10,000. The company, which recently cut 10 per cent of its 1,500-strong Irish workforce as part of its attempt to slash over €1 billion from annual operating costs, said it would be "talking to UK employees first."

While the job cuts appear limited to the UK at present, the Financial Times has suggested that there would be further headcount reductions at some of Vodafone's other European mobile businesses, which include Germany, Italy and Spain. However, the timing of the announcement neatly falls after the many up-beat presentations at the Mobile World Congress last week where Vodafone's CEO, Vittorio Colao, gave no hint a large number of redundancies were just days away, instead commenting that there was no need to "slam on the brakes" in the face of the current economic gloom.

Commenting on the workforce cuts, a Vodafone spokesman said, "As customers look for best value in their mobile services, the company intends to reduce its cost base whilst continuing to invest in new products and services to meet changing customer needs." The company added that it would be creating around 100 new roles this year as it develops services, with investment focused on its retail estate and online offerings.

The company laid off 450 staff at its UK headquarters almost a year ago, but on this occasion the heads were replaced with salesmen based around the UK.

For more on this story:
The Times , The Independent and Financial Times

Related stories:
European operators expected to axe staff
Job cuts at Vodafone U.K.
Telco job cuts catch new scrutiny
Verizon Wireless cuts some former Circuit City employees

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