Bulgaria instead of Vienna: Thousands of jobs at A1 Telekom at risk?

As several media outlets report, job cuts are imminent at A1. The establishment of a group competence center in Bulgaria could result in “painful cuts” for the Austrian location, according to works council members Alexander Sollak and Gerhard Bayer, according to the “Kronen Zeitung” on Wednesday. Between 2,000 and 3,000 of around 6,500 jobs could be at stake and move to Bulgaria.

“It is to be feared that Austria will be degraded to a pure sales company in the medium term,” Sollak is quoted as saying. In IT alone, over 300 out of 1,000 jobs are said to be affected. The “Kleine Zeitung” and the “Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung” had previously reported on job cuts at A1.

A1: “Numbers plucked out of thin air”

“The rumored figures of 2,000 to 3,000 affected employees are made out of thin air and cannot be verified by us,” the company said on Wednesday. A1 Telekom Austria referred to the group strategy of gradually reducing the number of employees in Austria. In recent years, 300 to 400 employees have been cut in a socially acceptable manner each year – through social plans, retirements, natural fluctuation and non-replacement. Since 2019, the number of full-time employees has fallen from 7,625 to 6,473 at the end of 2023.

Due to higher inflation, it is expected that the workforce reductions this year will be slightly higher than the previous 300 to 400 per year, the company told the APA. For three years, location-independent activities and competencies have been bundled within the group so that they can only be carried out once. Bulgaria, as the second largest subsidiary of the A1 Group, has established itself as one of the centers here. “No additional reduction measures are expected from this title in Austria this year,” it said.

The works council has nevertheless scheduled an extraordinary supervisory board meeting, which is expected to take place next week. Works meetings are also planned for May 7th.


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