10/31/2012 11:09:21 AM
CWU shocked by O2's franchise push
The Communication Workers Union has said it is angered by O2's decision to franchise out another 82 of its stores and said it was concerned that more could follow.
Yesterday the operator announced it was planning to bring the number of franchise stores to 202 out of its total 450-store portfolio. The move will help O2 generate cash and reduce its debt pile. Parent Telefónica also floated its German business on Tuesday, raising Eu1.5bn.
While O2 said there would be no redundancies, Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said he feared for the security of staff within the branches. He said the operator was 'playing poker with our members' livelihoods'.
He said: 'O2 shop workers are the lowest paid staff in the company and are the most vulnerable. Not only will staff feel shocked by this decision but we believe O2 is taking a huge risk by moving into this model at this time. The company is simply hoping that appropriate candidates will come forward as franchisees in response to their advert instead of directly managing their brand and high street sales.'
Editor: Graeme Neill