14/05/2009

Local BT Workers Escape Cuts

It has been revealed that excellent profits for BT's operation locally will mean no major job cuts for NI staff.

The telecom giant as a whole announced losses of £134m and said it planned to cut 15,000 jobs.

However, for the 2,600 BT employees in Northern Ireland, the company has better news.

The firm reported a rise of 18% in full year profits for its all-Ireland operations despite the difficult economic climate.

BT Ireland Chief Executive Chris Clark said the firm operates as "a mini BT" in Ireland and had turned in "a very strong set of numbers".

A statement from Rachel Heron, their Belfast-based PR Manager said: "BT in Ireland, which is part of BT Retail, is making significant traction in securing major managed services deals in the private and public sectors and the profile of our workforce reflects that.
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"We've been increasing employee numbers to deliver these new contracts while reducing numbers in areas of our business where we are experiencing a decline in demand and are driving efficiencies.

"These reductions have come predominantly through natural attrition. We have no set plans to accelerate what has been business as usual for us," she said.

The company has also announced a multi-million pound project to upgrade its network on both sides of the border in the North West of the island.

It will extend its 'next generation network' by directly linking Letterkenny in Co Donegal with Londonderry, Belfast and Dublin.

It will also connect with over 1,270 cities worldwide through BT's global network.

See: BT To Axe 15,000 Jobs

(BMcC/JM)

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