CWU expresses jobs concerns over O2 takeover talks


Communication Workers Union will hold talks with O2 CEO Ronan Dunne over proposed Hutchison buyout

The Communication Workers Union has asked for assurances over the jobs of its members following the news that Three-owner Hutchison Whampoa has entered exclusive talks to buy O2.

CWU represents over 3,400 O2 members of staff in its UK based call centres, support roles and engineering roles but has expressed concerns about the security of these roles following takeover talks.

O2 confirmed today that its parent company Telefonica has entered exclusive talks to sell its UK operations to Three owner Hutchison Whampoa for an initial £9.2 billion.

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said the union will hold a meeting with O2 CEO Ronan Dunne on February 2

“We hope that any takeover of Telefonica UK will protect UK jobs and maintain service standards for customers,” Kerr said. “O2 has been through a great deal of operational change in the last two years with the biggest outsourcing deal in the UK when staff and services were outsourced to Capita.

“Staff working for both O2 and Capita will be concerned about what these latest ownership talks mean for their jobs and the future of the company.”

In 2013, O2 struck a £1.2 billion 10 year strategic partnership with support service provider Capita to run and manage O2’s customer service and support functions.

O2 confirmed that a meeting has been arranged but declined to make any further comment.