Uninor asks rivals to hire retrenched staff

Indian telecom operator in talks with competitors to rehabilitate would-be retrenched employees from its restructuring exercise.

Indian telco Uninor is in discussions with competitors on rehabilitating its employees who are facing retrenchment from the telco's plans to scale down operations.

In a report Tuesday by the Press Trust of India (PTI), Sigve Brekke, managing director of Uninor, said the company has been in touch with the human resource (HR) departments of its competitors which have all expressed interest.

The joint venture between Norway's Telenor and India's Unitech , Uninor will lay off some 2,000 from its workforce to cut costs and scale down operations in four of 13 zones it operates in India, as announced last month by its majority owner, Telenor.

The decision came amid preparations for the upcoming 2G spectrum auctions in India. By trimming its workforce in the four zones of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Odisha, Uninor which currently has 17,500 employees, will reallocate resources to better-performing zones.

Brekke said Uninor will try to offer jobs to the affected employees in other zones it continues to operate. He added the company had already appointed an outsourcing agency and also will set up a helpdesk to facilitate the process, according to the PTI report.

Delays have dogged the country's upcoming 2G spectrum auction since the Indian Supreme Court revoked all 122 existing 2G licenses in February this year over allegations of fraud. Only this month did India's Union Cabinet finally set the reserve price of 140 billion rupees (US$2.5 billion) for 5 megahertz (MHz) of pan-India 2G spectrum in the 1800-MHz GSM band.


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