Deutsche Telekom plans to axe up to 6,000 members of staff in order to streamline operations and remain competitive.
The firm's T-Systems unit employees will potentially be affected, as reported by german publication the daily Handelsblatt. The T-Systems unit employs just under 30,000 people to manage information technology-related services for large clients, including Royal Dutch Shell. However, competition is fierce in this arena, and as more businesses want cloud-based support and platforms, Deutsche Telekom wishes to focus more on these technologies -- making restructuring a necessity if the firm is to increase its profit margins.
Deutsche Telekom has confirmed the plans to restructure the T-Systems unit. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the company said that such measures were discussed at recent meetings, but a spokesman declined to offer a fixed number of workers who may lose their jobs. While the firm says roughly 6,000 could be affected, Handelsblatt reports that worker unions fear this figure could go as high as 8,000 -- and this could be the first time in history for the firm to enforce layoffs.
Telekom supervisory board member and labor union board member Lothar Schroeder said that if this is the case, "we won't go along with it."
Separately, last month Deutsche Telekom confirmed the purchase of GTS Central Europe, a provider of B2B network services, for €546m. The buy boosts the company's enterprise customer list by 38,000 customers and gives the firm better access to fibre optic markets in Central and Eastern Europe.