1,500 jobs cut at Cable & Wireless

CABLE & WIRELESS Communications, the cable television and telephone operator, yesterday confirmed that it is axing 1,500 jobs - more than a tenth of its workforce - as part of a cost-cutting drive. The bulk of the redundancies will be among backroom and support staff, who account for a third of the 12,000-strong workforce. Compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out.

All CWC's employees were briefed on the cutbacks in meetings up and down the country yesterday. But details of exactly where the axe will fall will not emerge until the company reports its annual results in May.

The rationalisation programme is the result of an "optimum resourcing review" ordered by Graham Wallace, CWC's chief executive. He said the review, carried out by Coopers & Lybrand, had identified "significant operational efficiencies which will result in reduced unit costs". But the company declined to spell out how much the redundancy programme would cost or the level of savings it would yield.

CWC was formed last year from the four-way merger of Mercury, Nynex CableComms, Bell Cablemedia and Videotron. Since then it has cut 400 management jobs, condensed 10 call centres into three, merged its five network control centres on to two sites and imposed a recruitment freeze. But the Coopers review identified further substantial costs savings.

"Clearly there are areas where there is fat; we simply don't need to same number of people to perform all the functions," said a spokesman.

As part of the restructuring, increased resources will be put into growth areas of the business such as data communications and the business market generally. At present, data communications make up about 10 per cent of telecoms traffic but CWC believes this could grow to 50 per cent within five years.

Administration, finance, personnel and other support functions will bear the brunt of the cuts. The 1,500 redundancies represents a net figure. Since CWC is hiring 700 staff for a call centre in Glasgow, the level of job losses from the existing workforce will be more than 2,000. Mr Wallace said the review would also lead to improved service and confirmed CWC was sticking with plans to invest pounds 1bn this year.

Since Mr Wallace's arrival CWC has embarked on a pounds 400m upgrade of its long-distance fibre network. The investment is additional to the money being spent each year to build out the cable network.

It has also unveiled plans for entering the digital market through a programming link-up with BSkyB and a software deal with Netscape and Oracle to give customers high-speed access to the Internet.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map