Orange and T-Mobile have started softening up the staff who'll be facing synergisation, warning some they're for the chop while others are being told there's still hope. Despite The Telegraph reporting that staff at Orange and T-Mobile had been gathered in groups for to be publicly told into which category they fell - with handy …
Missing from the Org Chart
If you do learn that you're redundant from the org chart, that is a truly magic moment, because it's almost impossible for that ever to be a fair dismi$$al...
Being a Mobile Phone Company....
.... one would think they would have just fired people by text.
Being on the Org Chart when you really don't want to be?
My ex-employer is in the process of getting rid of "everybody who does any work" (direct quote from a director) and out-sourcing everything to India at the sametime. They're finding it remarkably difficult to find takers for the places that are available on the new org chart! :D
I was there (as a contractor) several time when one of the high street banks went through redundancy notification for their IT staff.
It was different each time, but basically, in a fixed time window, everybody was asked to sit at their desk and each person was notified individually.
The first time it was by a manager inviting the person out of the office, where upon they were ushered into an interview room, told the news, and escorted back to their former desks to clear their personal belongings and then out of the building.
This was hard on the managers (some of whom had the same treatment a few days later, oh the irony), and humiliating to the staff involved.
The second time, everyone was told that the notification would come by phone, and would be asked to go somewhere in the call. During the hour or so, the office was deathly quite, with nobody talking, and everybody jumping every time a phone rang, regardless of the reason.
People left the office, and were asked to come back out-of-hours while escorted to collect their personal belongings.
Even though I was not directly affected (unnecessary contractors had already gone, and the remainder in critical roles ended up being the subject to bad feeling as a result), I was a nervous wreck by the end of each day!
The last time was different, because everybody was told that their job was going, and the only difference was which phase and when.
I sympathise with everybody who finds themselves in this situation, but I'm afraid that we are heading for a dog-eat-dog working environment for the next few years.
No works councils?
As both Orange and T-Mobile are European multi-nationals I would have thought they would have works councils as they do in the other countries where they are present. I know that British companies are exempt from this requirement but I thought subsidiaries of companies from countries without the exemption were required to have them. Not that I think it would stop any redundancies which are dictated by the highly competitive and saturated market but it might improve the terms of any redundancies.
I remember when it was my turn.
I worked as part of a department of 13 in the one of the Engineering departments at Orange in Bristol. I joined just before the sale by Vodafone/Mannesmann to France Telecom and about 2 years after, when FT were bucking under their horrendous debts, I was quickly identified as a "surplus" team member along with 4 others. Part of the "last in-first out" theory of working, and I was let go 5 days later (the guys leaving from my department were considered a security risk). The 90-day consultation period became 3-months gardening leave.
So i got 3 months pay, a generous redundancy package and got to keep my staff phone contract. (No line rental and 1p/min calls, mustn't grumble) I found a new job at Thales Telecoms 3 weeks later, and still work for Network Rail (who took on the Thales contracts).
Also @Charlie Clark.... I can't speak for T-Mobile, but Orange PCS Limited has always been a UK registered company, and it's parent company is UK based (Everything Everywhere). It is not a subsidiary of a foreign company anymore. It's probably got a lot to do with Orange UK being originally part of Orange Group plc (the umbrella for all pre-FT Orange operations and likely still the legal owner of those assets).