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Orange UK to axe 2,000 jobs

They'll be treated with 'respect and dignity' though

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Orange is to axe up to 2,000 jobs in the UK as part of the cellco's plans to merge with sister company Wanadoo. Around 15 per cent of the workforce is to be cut as the Wanadoo ISP sheds its name and becomes part of Orange to create a single telecoms firm.

The changes are part of a NExT (New Experience in Telecoms) strategy adopted last year by France Telecom, which owns Orange.

In a statement, the company said it wanted to create "a leaner organisation that will be better equipped to compete...in an increasingly competitive environment".

Bernard Ghillebaert, chief exec of Orange UK said: "Specifics will be worked out over the next few months and a final structure in place by September, but the new Orange must be lean and agile and our cost base needs to be lower.

"Specifically, we will be 15 per cent leaner, resulting in significant annual savings and a streamlined, more efficient organisation. This means the loss of approximately 1,800 to 2,000 jobs.

"This reduction is expected to be achieved mainly through a combination of redeployment, natural attrition, non-renewal of temporary short term contracts, and, as a last resort, some redundancies."

He added that workers would be "treated with respect and dignity consistent with our values". ®

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