British telecom giant Vodafone said Tuesday it planned to lay off up to 1,300 workers, about a fifth of the workforce, from its Spanish division which bought cable provider Ono last year.
Vodafone Espana and Ono said they would launch a month of negotiations with labour unions in September to reach “the best agreement possible for employees and both companies” on the layoffs.
“The collective dismissal procedures will affect a maximum of 1,300 people” out of a total of around 6,100 in Vodafone and Ono in Spain, it said in a statement.
“The procedures are part of the integration process of Vodafone and ONO.”
Vodafone bought phone and Internet provider Ono for EUR 7.2 billion (roughly Rs. 51,229 crores) last year and has been integrating ONO’s cable network into its own wireless services.
It said the layoffs were necessitated by the merger and essential investments as well as falling earnings by both companies in a market still recovering from an economic crisis.
Earlier this month, Vodafone reported an acceleration in its main quarterly sales growth as a cable TV acquisition in its biggest market Germany helped to lift sales and consolidate an overall return to growth for the British firm.
The world’s second-largest mobile operator, which reported a return to quarterly sales growth for the first time in nearly three years in May, has been hit hard by the constraints on consumer spending in its big European markets, fierce competition in India and by regulator-imposed price cuts around the world.