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NTL to wipe out 6,000 jobs

Cableco mum on reports

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NTL has not denied weekend press reports that it's about to chop some 6,000 jobs as it seeks to make cash savings of £250m a year.

Reports claim that a third of the firm's estimated 17,000 workforce is to be stripped out, with call centres likely to be closed down and jobs outsourced overseas.

The number of engineers is also likely to be cut.

NTL is in the process of merging with Telewest to create a single giant cableco in the UK. It also has the task of bringing newly-acquired Virgin Mobile on board later this year.

No one should be surprised that NTL is to reduce its headcount. When NTL and Telewest announced plans to tie the knot last October, it quickly became clear that jobs would have to go.

Financial outfit UBS estimated at the time that as many as one in four of the 19,000 or so people employed by both companies could lose their jobs once the deal was completed. NTL even said there would be an "elimination of duplicated activities" - business speak for job cuts.

At the time, a spokeswoman for Telewest said that "while rationalisation is likely, it is really too early to get into the specifics as it's early days. The best people will be needed for the new company - the integration process will be rigorous and there will be opportunities for employees from both sides." ®

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