2/2/2011 12:31:00 PM
O2 to slash jobs in technology department
Cuts to O2’s IT and engineering staff are on the cards as part of a major company restructure that has already seen 250 retail jobs and 40 stores axed.
O2 is looking at cutting staff numbers in its technology department, headed up by CTO Derek McManus, and may also outsource work in both IT and engineering.
The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) submitted a formal expression of concern to O2 last week after learning of its plans. The union is particularly opposed to plans to outsource work to external contractors.
A CWU spokeswoman told Mobile: ‘There is a big shake up being considered for O2’s engineering and IT divisions. O2 has told us it is looking at finding efficiencies and savings in those divisions, possibly by tendering the work to external contractors.
She added: ‘We have been told by O2 it is early days and nothing is settled. However, we are particularly concerned at any plans to outsource work and have submitted an expression of concern to O2.’
Meanwhile, O2 retail managers are set to take the brunt of the cuts in the retail division with the majority of job losses expected to be among the managerial ranks.
O2 has confirmed the roles of all senior branch managers, branch managers and assistant branch managers no longer exist. All managerial staff in those roles have been told their jobs are now ‘at risk’. There are 41 senior branch managers, 72 assistant branch managers and around 137 assistant branch managers across the retail estate.
The managerial roles will be replaced by the newly created roles of store leader and assistant store leader. Managerial staff whose jobs are at risk may apply for these posts. Managers can also apply to become O2 Gurus.
An O2 spokesman said: ‘As part of the wider organisational changes we announced in December 2010, we are reviewing the structure of our technology team. Naturally, we are consulting our people and people representatives.’
Shop floor staff fare better under restructure
Non-managerial staff have fared better under the restructure. O2 has pledged there will be no compulsory redundancies among shop floor staff but has declined to give a similar guarantee to managerial staff.
The restructure also sees job titles changed across the board. O2 sales advisors will become advisors, area managers will now be known as area leaders, divisional managers will become divisional leaders and the head of sales title will be rebadged as head of retail stores.
A CWU spokeswoman said: ‘The cuts have hit the managerial staff much harder than the floor staff. The new managerial roles do not mirror like-for-like the managerial titles that no longer exist. Nor will O2 give us a guarantee there will not be compulsory redundancies among managerial staff.’
She added: ‘However, O2 is trying hard to ensure all non-managerial staff whose jobs are under threat or whose stores are closing are relocated to stores in their area.’