Union ‘relieved’ O2 broadband sale won’t mean redundancies

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The CWU says members are concerned about the impact of the O2-Sky deal, but they have “received assurances” from the operator there will be no redundancies

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), the largest in O2, has said staff working for the operator’s broadband service will not face redundancy following its sale to Sky.

The £200 million sale of O2’s broadband and fixed-line businesses, announced today, affects 550 O2 staff who work in broadband sales, enquiries, engineering and tech, the CWU say. They are based mostly in O2’s centres at Leeds, Glasgow and Preston Brook (Cheshire).

The union said it has “received assurances” from O2 that there will be no redundancies as a result of the sale.

O2 told CWU it will redeploy affected staff into other roles after a transitional period in which they continue to carry out work on broadband.

CWU were told there will be no change at all for either staff of customers until the end of April 2013. At this point O2 employees will continue to work on broadband and will be given 13 weeks’ notice of any changes to their roles. The intention is to have all services fully transferred to Sky within 18 months and to redeploy O2 employees over that period.

The union’s deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: “We have pushed O2 hard on the question of jobs this morning and have received assurances that there will be no redundancies at all. This is a relief. We get the impression that O2 is keen to hold on to the many skilled staff working in this area.

“O2 is clearly demonstrating that its business focus is on data services and 4G with this sale. We hope this business plan protects UK jobs and services,” he said.

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