Telecoms giant SFR says it will lay off 3,300 staff this summer

Black and red company logos on grey background
Numericable and SFR are owned by Luxembourg company Altice and Patrick Drahi

News comes as consumer group says company was subject of more than half of complaints last year

Telecoms and internet company SFR plans to lay off 5,000 staff, with 3,300 from this summer, in its SFR and Numericable operations.

Owned by Luxembourg-based Altice and its boss Patrick Drahi, the company is moving ahead with a plan that it previewed three years ago when SFR bought Numericable for €14billion – a sum that astonished industry analysts.

The government approved the deal in 2014 as long as Mr Drahi gave staff a three-year jobs guarantee and now a report on ZDNet from union insiders says the company is to cut jobs at SFR, SFR service client and Numericable.

At the time of the deal Mr Drahi said he wanted to cut staff by a third and replace them with contract workers to cut operational costs.

Last month SFR was fined €40million by the competitions authority for breaking an agreement with Bouygues to install fibre optic cabling in densely populated areas, with a 58% shortfall in work.

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Coupled with other fines imposed for other offences, SFR and its parent company have now been fined a total of €135m for commercial mispractice.

SFR staff have already called strikes over previous ‘disguised’ job cuts, with the most recent at the beginning of this month.

The company has also been criticised by telecoms users’ group Afutt, which said it had been the subject of more than half of the complaints lodged in 2016. Afutt said that complaints on mobile reception had jumped 37% while internet quality was still the No1 problem, with 68% of complaints.

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