Upheaval for O2 staff affected by broadband sale

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Staff working for O2's broadband services will not face redundancy following the sale of the service to Sky, CWU has learnt today.

Mobile company Telefonica O2 has confirmed today (Friday) that it is selling its broadband and fixed-line business to Sky. The deal affects half a million-plus customers and 550 O2 staff who work in broadband sales, enquiries, engineering and tech. The majority of staff are based in O2's centres at Leeds, Glasgow and Preston Brook (Cheshire).

CWU - the largest union in O2 - has received assurances from the company that there will be no redundancies as a result of this sale. The 550 affected staff will continue to work for Telefonica O2, initially retaining their existing roles and responsibilities before being redeployed into other parts of the business.

Andy Kerr
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "Our priority is with our members who are learning this news today. Clearly news of a sale will cause some concern among people working in this business unit and there will naturally be questions about job security.

"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 tells us that they will redeploy affected staff into other roles after a transitional period in which they continue to carry out work on broadband. We will be there at every step of the way to ensure that CWU members are treated fairly and retain their jobs.

"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."

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.


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