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WorldCom is to slash 1000 jobs in Europe on the insistence of bosses in the US.

Meetings were held yesterday to announce the cuts, according to insiders.

The job losses come as WorldCom and its sibling - UUNET - are to merge operations outside the US.

A week ago WorldCom decided to chop 6000 jobs in the US.

At this stage it's not known whether the cuts demanded by the US are on top of, or as well as, the losses already in the pipeline as part of the integration of the two outfits.

The Register understands staff morale is deteriorating fast and that some employees have already decided to jump ship rather than face the agonising wait for the chop.

In a memo sent yesterday employees were told to stand firm and "continue to focus on... current responsibilities."

In the next sentence they were told: "There will be inevitable redundancies occurring as a consequence of the integration, but these will not occur until full consultation has taken place."

A spokeswoman for WorldCom declined to comment on the cuts.

Yesterday, Bernie Ebbers, CE of WorldCom denied speculation that the communications outfit was looking for a buyer. ®

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