Telecom Italia’s 4,000 workers face temporary layoff

Telecom Italia (TIM) is planning a temporary layoff scheme for 4,000 workers as part of a 2018-20 business plan, Reuters reported.
TIM shop Italy
TIM, according to media reports, has asked the Italian government to approve the temporary layoff scheme for 4,000 workers. The telecom operator is unable to cut jobs due to union pressure.

Under the state-sponsored scheme, telecom workers remain at home for a certain period as the company adjusts employment levels to company strategy and market demand, but are not laid off.

“As early as last December, and then officially since January, we promoted a constructive discussion with the Unions in order to find the best solution to handle the need to reorganise the workforce,” TIM spokesperson said.

TIM’s first proposal rejected by the Unions was a mixture of measures – early retirement, incentives to the exit and “expansive solidarity”.

The company said the Union’s opposition to all proposals forced TIM to start the procedure for Extraordinary Redundancy Fund (CIGS) which can be implemented without a Union agreement. “Our wish is to find a shared solution with the Unions. We are not talking about layoffs,” TIM spokesperson said.

Italy’s biggest phone group, which employs almost 50,000 people in its domestic operations, had been considering cutting up to 7,500 jobs in Italy through incentivised redundancies and early retirement.

TIM Group headcount at 31 March 2018 was 59,489, including 49,584 in Italy. TIM had 59,429 employees including 49,689 in Italy at 31 December 2017.

The company also planned to hire 2,000 new staff and finance their contracts by asking all other employees to work 20 minutes less each day.

TIM said its EBITDA in the first quarter of 2018 totalled 1,817 million euros. Comparable EBITDA in the first quarter of 2018 totalled 1,893 million euros (1,990 million euros in Q1 2017), 97 million euros (-4.9 percent) lower, with a margin of 39.9 percent (41.3 percent in Q1 2017, –1.4 percentage points).