Romtelecom, Romania’s largest landline operator, will make 600 people redundant on May 1, to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Aside from the 600, the operator also transferred 400 employees to Ericsson Romania in January. Afterwards, the firm will have approximately 9,000 staff. All dismissed employees will receive compensation packages. Staff members who take voluntary redundancy will get twice the sum stipulated in the collective work contract in force. The level of compensation depends on length of service. Laid off workers will also receive free careers advice.
“Romania’s communication market is one of the most competitive in Europe which puts pressure on Romtelecom. Moreover, Romania’s economy is in decline, which has intensified pressure on all operators,” said company officials. The operator needs to change continuously to face this and find innovative solutions and new models of business, they added.
Romtelecom is going through a transformation process from provider of landline telephony to supplier of entertainment and ICT complete solutions, which will bring new services in domains such as broadband, TV and ICT to its portfolio. Infrastructure needs are also changing, as the firm focuses on other technologies than those it used in the past, based on IP, VDSL, ADSL2+, FO and CDMA. A big priority this year is to introduce fiber optic infrastructure on a large scale at national level, through solutions of the FTTB and GPON type.
“To succeed in all these directions, Romtelecom needs to keep strict tabs on costs and increase its efficiency, improving the way in which it answers its clients’ needs. At the moment, there are over 20 efficiency projects ongoing at the company, of which one involves field activities,” said officials.
In the operations department, the firm’s largest, two solutions that have been partially applied with good results will be extended. One is the transition to field units of only one person (from two people before). At the end of this project, there will be approximately 1,500 active field units, around 300 more than at the moment. “This modification is possible because Romanian legislation regarding working at altitude has been harmonized with European legislation. Each employee who represents a unit must be medically fit and have a valid driver’s license,” said company officials.
Romtelecom intends to introduce new work procedures and better protective equipment and will organize training to increase staff awareness of the importance of using these instruments. The presence of two units will be necessary only in a limited number of situations, for more complex work. The second solution is the introduction of software and other labor procedures in centers. The new framework for labor organization within the operations department will result in the 600 lay-offs announced by Romtelecom.
The operator’s four centers of coordination, installation and maintenance will also be undergoing a major change as software and procedures lead to the automatization of tasks and growth in productivity, said the officials. Some positions, such as certain technicians, will no longer exist following the reorganization.