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Telekom layoffs to hit disabled workers

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Telekom layoffs to hit disabled workers
10:46 CET+01:00
Plans by Deutsche Telekom to close nearly half its call centres across Germany are set to affect blind and wheelchair-bound workers, according to a report by news magazine Focus.

Europe's largest telecommunications company announced in August it planned to shutter 39 call centres across Germany in a bid to consolidate its business and trim costs.

The move, which is set to affect 8,000 people, will also include 940 disabled workers, Focus said in a report due to be published next week. The group includes 40 wheelchair-bound and 45 blind workers as well others with special needs who in future will have to commute four hours to get to their new workplaces, the magazine reported.

"The Telekom board has to live up to its social responsibility and can't allow the disabled to end up on the streets," Raimund Schepper, Telekom's commissioner for the disabled told the magazine.

According to the report, the group's information services division, T-Systems, is to offer its 35,000 German employees a "voluntary" severance pay package. Those employees who tap it swiftly and put in their papers by November 30 are to receive "1.5 times their annual salary," the magazine reported.

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