Telefonica offers redundancy to 3,000-plus staff, union says

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Spanish Telecom company Telefonica at its Madrid headquarters

MADRID (Reuters) – Telefonica will offer voluntary redundancy to staff born in 1967 or earlier and with at least 15 years of employment at the company, the UGT union said on Tuesday, calculating that 3,261 employees would meet those conditions.

Europe's third-largest telecoms group and direct employer of 16,000 people in Spain would limit take-up of the offer to 60% of eligible staff, UGT said, adding that consultancy group KPMG has helped to formulate the plan.

Some departments are set to be spared, such as those focused on cybersecurity, marketing and artificial intelligence, UGT representative Diego Gallart told Reuters.

“Most of the redundancies will be offered in the network deployment, maintenance and more basic customer service departments,” Gallart said.

“But it's hard to say whether uptake will be in line with previous averages of 70% because the more senior staff are being presented with worse conditions than in past packages and may not find the current one appealing.”

Telefonica declined to comment on what it said were ongoing negotiations with trade unions.

A source with knowledge of the matter had initially told Reuters that 2,000-4,000 jobs would be cut, making Telefonica the third major telecoms group to seek redundancies in Spain this year after similar moves by Vodafone and Orange.

Telefonica has been grappling with intense competition in an increasingly low-cost Spanish market as well as pressure from investors.

The mobile and broadband operator swung to a third-quarter net profit this month thanks to the performance of its foreign businesses.

However, core profit in Spain fell 8.9% year on year and operations chief Angel Vila told analysts that soaring power costs would continue to weigh on profitibility in the coming quarters.

(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; Editing by Andrei Khalip and David Goodman)

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