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Thursday, 14 May 2009

Telecoms giant BT announces 15,000 job cuts

BT TODAY suffered its own “Black Thursday” as the telecoms giant announced it was cutting 15,000 jobs.

The company will shed 10 per cent of its workforce – including hundreds of employees in London – after reporting an annual loss of £134m.

The announcement means that 30,000 jobs will have been lost at the company within two years. BT has already cut 15,000 positions since last spring — 5,000 more than previously thought.

The news comes just days after official government figures showed that UK unemployment has hit 2.2m.

BT chief executive Ian Livingston said: “We regret having to do this, but these are very tough times and that requires tough actions. I am determined that BT emerges from this recession as a stronger company, not just for its shareholders but in order to protect as many permanent staff as possible.

“Three out of four of BT’s lines of business have performed well in spite of fierce competition and the global economic downturn.”

Livingston put the company’s position down to the “unacceptable performance” of its global services division, which provides telecoms infrastructure to multinational companies.

He added that he expected executive bonus payments to be “substantially” reduced or even “zero” this year. The job losses will reduce BT’s workforce to 130,000, down from 160,000 just two years ago.

Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union, said: “Fifteen thousand is a very challenging level of job losses, especially on the back of last year’s reductions. This is a serious day for staff at BT.”

Extracted from BBC
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