January 8, 2018 / 3:03 PM / a year ago

Telecom Italia considering thousands of incentivised layoffs in Italy - sources

A Telecom Italia tower is pictured in Rome, Italy March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) is considering cutting thousands of jobs in Italy through incentivised layoffs, union sources said on Monday.

Italy’s biggest phone group, which employs almost 60,000 people in its domestic operations, has not made any official announcements on the matter.

According to the sources, TIM would like to cut some staff to make space for new hires, reducing the average age of its workforce.

The company declined to comment.

The phone group, whose biggest shareholder is French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA), is already using so-called solidarity contracts, under which workers agree to work less on condition that nobody is laid off.

The current solidarity contracts, whose unworked hours are the equivalent of around 5,000 jobs, expired at the end of 2017 and a decision has yet to be taken on whether to extend them.

If not, most those jobs could be cut, the sources added.

Another 4,000-5,000 workers may meet the requirements of a legislation that allows for early retirement, the people said.

First meeting with unions is scheduled for Jan. 18.

Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, writing by Agnieszka Flak

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