Virgin Media O2, one of the UK’s largest mobile operators, has announced that it intends to cut up to 2,000 jobs by the end of the year. This move is anticipated to impact more than a tenth of the company’s workforce.
Redundancy notices were reportedly issued to some staff as early as Monday evening. These job cuts include changes that had been previously disclosed to the workforce.
A spokesperson for Virgin Media O2 commented on the situation: “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.”
They added, “While we know any period of change can be difficult, we are committed to supporting all of our people and are working closely with unions along with our internal employee representatives as we have open and honest conversations on the future direction of our business.”
This announcement comes on the heels of TWU’s recent coverage of BT Group’s decision in May to cut 55,000 jobs. The telecommunications behemoth has outlined a “rolling plan” to reduce its total labour force from 130,000 to between 75,000 and 90,000 by the end of the decade. BT’s Chief Executive, Philip Jansen, noted that he anticipates AI technology will replace around 10,000 roles.
Formed by a joint venture between the US-listed Liberty Group and Spain’s Telefonica in 2020, Virgin Media O2 has recently come under scrutiny. Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, launched an investigation into the company earlier this month following complaints that it was hindering customers’ ability to cancel services.
Liberty Group, which also holds a 5% stake in Vodafone, has likewise been implicated in job reductions. Vodafone has announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years.
The wave of job cuts comes as Virgin Media O2 projects a $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) drop in annual free cash flow.
The Workers Union Says…
“The workers’ union will undoubtedly closely monitor the situation and continue to offer support for the rights and welfare of its members during this uncertain period.”