Virgin Media o2 seem to be following in the recent footsteps of BT and Vodafone in bringing the axe down on employees.
Anywhere between 800 and 2,000 jobs could be axed, as reported by the Mirror. One source claimed that the upcoming pay rise was moved to August 1st. This could be to avoid the pay increase in the many redundancy packages it’s clear VMO2 will be filing soon.
It’s no doubt that this will be an incredibly unwelcome outcome for the many staff. This is because most were led to believe that they were going to transfer to a different department.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) revealed in February talks with VMO2 were underway regarding 1,357 employees at risk of redundancy. At the time, the CWU believed that redundancy wouldn’t be necessary, with sufficient and suitable alternative roles for employees. However, it’s now clear that this belief must have been misplaced on the CWU’s behalf.
VMO2 released a vague statement earlier this week, not allowing for a conclusion to be drawn.
As part of our continued transformation and integration as a business, we’re consulting with some of our people on proposed changes. We’re working closely with employee representative groups and will continue to support all of our employees through this process. As we are still in the consulting phase, and no decisions have been made, we have no further details to share at this stage.”
VMO2 on the rumours regarding employee redundancy
Here, VMO2’s spokesperson makes a point that the ‘proposed changes’ are part of the ongoing merge of O2 and Virgin Media. The merge started in summer of 2021 after the huge £31 billion tie-up received the necessary clearance.
Back then, the parent companies of the two brands said they expected the merged entity to manage synergies of £6.2 billion, even after integration costs.
Bringing together real estate and removing any overlapping roles are well-known ways companies can generate synergies from a merge. This unfortunately makes the idea of all these redundancies seem somewhat unsurprising. And negatively enough, even if the redundancies of VMO2 are at the higher end of the assumed scale, they’ll only pale in comparison to BT and Vodafone.
With more mergers, such as the proposed Vodafone/Three deal, possibly on their way, these redundancies seem like they’ll only increase. While it’s expected, it makes it no better for the unfortunate employees who may lose their jobs.