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Belgacom May Cut 4,000 Jobs

October 25, 2001

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom SA is planning to 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, or up to 20 percent of its work force, as part of a restructuring following the collapse of its merger talks with the Dutch phone operator Royal KPN NV.

In an announcement late Wednesday, Belgacom said another 2,500 to 3,000 staffers are expected to be retrained for new positions as part of plans to adapt the company to the technological changes.

The company employs 19,700 workers overall.

Separately, KPN said Thursday it plans to eliminate 4,800 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force.

Belgacom and KPN ended long-running merger talks in August saying the slump in telecom stocks made it harder to agree on terms.

The measures will not affect Belgacom’s mobile phone subsidiary Proximus or the Internet activities of its Skynet unit, which together employ 3,000 people.

Negotiations with labor unions on the implementation of plan should begin on Oct. 30 and an agreement should be reached before the end of 2001, Belgacom said.

Belgacom spokesman Piet Van Speybroeck the company would offer financial and other assistance to those who lose jobs.

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