, MADRID, May 26 – Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is to ramp up job cutting in Spain, shedding an extra 2,500 workers and extending its slimming programme by two years, a source familiar with the plan said on Thursday.
Last month the former state monopoly said it planned to shed about 20 percent of its staff in Spain, or about 6,000 people, over three years owing to a fall in sales in the country where it is the biggest telecom provider.
The revised redundancy plan calls for the departure of about 25 percent of the company\’s staff in Spain, or 8,500 employees, over five years, the source said.
The staff reductions will be all "voluntary departures", the source added.
Telefonica will present its new redundancy plan to the labour ministry on Thursday. Unions and Telefonica management will have 30 days to agree on a final staff reduction plan.
Spanish media reported that unions had agreed to the extended timeframe, but not yet to the increased staff redundancies.
The announcement of its job redundancy plan received a cool response from the government which is struggling to slash an unemployment rate that hit 21.19 percent in the first quarter, the highest in the industrialised world.
Telefonica posted a record net profit of 10.2 billion euros in 2010, a 30.8 percent jump over the previous year as weakness in Spain was offset by strong growth in the rest of Europe and Latin America.
The company employs some 30,000 people in Spain out of a total global workforce of 269,000 people.