Responding to confirmation today (Monday) that mobile company Vodafone will buy Cable and Wireless Worldwide (CWW) for a sum of £1.04 billion, the Communication Workers Union raises concern over job losses.
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “This appears to be a no-brainer for Vodafone who look set to make significant tax savings on CWW losses which could cover the purchase price. We would have thought more tax evasion stories would be the last thing Vodafone would want.
“On top of that, the potential sale of undersea cables would net them a profit of around £500 million, meaning this acquisition is a nice little earner for Britain’s biggest mobile company.
“We hope that Vodafone don’t intend to asset-strip further at the expense of our members – their staff. However, in our experience, whenever there’s a takeover there are job losses and staff in CWW in particular will be feeling concerned right now.
“We would hope that because of the different nature of the work that the two companies undertake – mobile versus fixed line – that there wouldn’t be too large a reduction in the workforce. The limited duplication of work could be in the best interests of job retention within both companies.
“We’ll be working to minimise the impact of any redundancies on staff and to seek alternatives to compulsory redundancies in particular wherever possible. We’re urging our members in both companies to get in touch with the union if they have any concerns.
“The one piece of good news here is that CWW will hopefully be able to finally leave behind the controversial legacy of John Pluthero and the obscene executive bonus culture the management is tainted with.”
The Communication Workers Union is the largest union in the telecoms and mobile sector with members in call centre, engineering and support roles.