par Planet Labor
The former public telecom monopoly in Spain presented to the trade unions staffing cut projects for its two subsidiaries. In total, the group plans 700 job cuts: 500 for Telefonica (mobile phones) and 200 for Soluciones (phone services adapted to businesses). To achieve this without starting a conflict, it proposed to bring early retirement age down of four years, from 52 to 48. (Ref. 080797)
Telefonica justified the staffing cuts by the evolution of the sector and the convergence of technologies which impose the integration of different activities into a single undertaking. The buyouts are open until December 15. The lowering early retirement age to 48, revealed by the Cinco Dias daily, surprised everyone, especially since the Ministry of Labor is advising companies to limit appeal to this system and to encourage, on the contrary, the extension of active life. However, the daily goes even further and highlights that Telefonica already appealed to the same method, a few months ago, to reduce Telefonica I+D, its R&D branch. However, the company is trying to avoid using the words "early retirement" since it will keep paying the employees and their leave will not cost a thing to social security until they reach the age of 61. Incorporating people over 48 into the job cut scheme (ERE) is only possible after 15 years of seniority minimum and will be less advantageous than for people leaving at 52. Unions are skeptical: they criticized the offer and point out that voluntary early retirement, even at 48, is not the right solution. In theory though, an agreement should be found next week.
Planet Labor, October 17, 2008, No. 080797 – www.planetlabor.com