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Seeking job cuts, Vodafone NZ asks the question of 2000 staff

Seeking job cuts, Vodafone NZ asks the question of 2000 staff

Shake-up comes as Vodafone NZ eyes a stock market listing next year

Jason Paris (Vodafone NZ)

Jason Paris (Vodafone NZ)

Vodafone New Zealand has made its long-awaited call, asking almost all staff if they want redundancy as the business prepares for a stock market listing next year.

Spokeswoman Kathy Gieck said employees were "offered the opportunity" to express interest in taking voluntary redundancy.

The only significant exceptions were 600 front line customer service staff in call centres and retail outlets, who were spared to ensure there was no impact on customers.

However, they may face a similar fate in the future as Vodafone's new chief executive, Jason Paris, has expressed interest in offshoring those functions.

That appears to be counter to policy at Vodafone's home operation in the UK, where call centre jobs were reportedly being brought home from South Africa.

“As part of its £2 billion investment programme over the 2016-19 period, Vodafone is committed to enhancing the quality of its UK customer services operations," the UK company said in 2017. "A significant expansion in the number of UK-based customer service advisors is integral to that commitment."

Vodafone NZ's call centres were also offshored before, to Egypt, but were brought back in 2011 in the wake of disruptions caused by the Arab Spring.

Unite Union organiser Shirley Wang last week told the New Zealand Herald that a "climate of fear and anxiety" had been created and 50 union members at a Vodafone NZ contact centre were affected.

Paris said there would be no closures of New Zealand contact centres as a result.

Vodafone has also been rolling out avatars to performs customer service rolls.


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