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BT to axe 2,300 jobs

PUBLISHED: 10:09 16 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

TROUBLED BT has taken another step to sort out its ailing finances with a move that will cost 2,300 jobs - but Ipswich looks set to escape the cuts.

By Lynn Abbott

P9 lead

TROUBLED BT has taken another step to sort out its ailing finances with a move that will cost 2,300 jobs – but Ipswich looks set to escape the cuts.

After almost four years of a joint agreement between BT and the American-based AT&T, the decision has been taken to devolve Concert the name of the union, and give control back to the individual organisations.

A spokesman for BT told The Evening Star that although they employ thousands of people in Ipswich and at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath "it is extremely unlikely that Ipswich will be affected.

"Most of the jobs that could be lost in the UK will more than likely be in London with the possibility of some in the south east. BTExact at Martlesham Heath will definitely not be affected," he added.

Concert was set up between BT and what had originally been American Telephone and Telegraph as a global data organisation aimed at large companies with need for international communication.

It turned out to be a heavy loss-maker primarily because its format did not fit in with today's competitive market.

BT chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield, said: "Since Concert was conceived as an international venture the global market place in our sector has changed out of all recognition and we need to change with it.

"Clearly there will be substantial costs associated with an unwind but this solution gives BT a better way forward than the status quo."

He said the priority now was to eliminate the losses in its returned business.

The Concert venture employs 6,300 staff, 2,200 of which are in the UK, mainly sales and customer service roles. Around 2,300 jobs will go between 800 and 1,000 of them in this country.

By splitting the organisation both sides believe it will be the best way to serve everyone – its investors, its customers and its employees – in the long term.

The separation should be completed during the first half of next year but all existing service contracts will be honoured.

n For up to the minute BT share prices, click on to the Evening Star's website: www.eveningstar.co.uk

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