Virgin Media O2 to Lay Off 2,000 Employees
British mobile operator Virgin Media O2 has announced its plans to lay off up to 2,000 employees by the end of the year. This move will result in more than a tenth of the company’s workforce being made redundant, according to reports.
The telecoms giant has reportedly started handing out redundancy notices to some staff members on Monday night. These job cuts, which include some previously disclosed organizational changes, will significantly impact the mobile operator’s workforce.
A spokesperson for Virgin Media O2 stated, “As we continue to integrate and transform as a company, we are currently consulting on proposals to simplify our operating model to better deliver for customers, which will see a reduction in some roles this year. While we know any period of change can be difficult, we are committed to supporting all of our people and are working closely with the CWU and Prospect along with our internal employee representatives as we have open and honest conversations on the future direction of our business.”
This announcement comes after rival BT Group cut 55,000 roles back in May. BT Group’s annual results revealed plans to reduce its “total labor resource” from 130,000 to between 75,000 and 90,000 by the end of the decade through a “rolling plan.” BT Group’s CEO, Philip Jansen, also mentioned that around 10,000 roles would be replaced by AI technology.
Virgin Media O2 was formed as a joint venture between US-listed Liberty Group and Spain’s Telefonica in 2020. However, the company has recently faced scrutiny, with Ofcom opening an investigation into complaints about difficulties customers face when trying to cancel services.
It is worth noting that the Liberty Group also holds a 5% stake in Vodafone, which has announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years. This decision comes as Vodafone projects a $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) drop in annual free cash flow.
Tracey Fussey, assistant secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), expressed concern about the job losses, stating, “This news is causing a tremendous deal of anxiety among our membership, who are now feeling vulnerable about their jobs during an historic economic crisis. The confirmation of job losses is a tremendous disappointment, and we will be doing everything we can to mitigate against the redundancies. The announcement of 2,000 redundancies includes changes already made this year. We will continue to actively work with VMO2 through the consultation processes. Workers deserve clarity and security over their futures, and the CWU will do everything in our power to ensure that is what our members will get.”