BT has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs by March 2009.
The telecoms giant said the majority of the losses would affect “indirect labour”, including agency, contractors, subcontractors and offshore workers.
The company said it had already cut 4,000 jobs, leaving a further 6,000 to go by the end of March. BT employs about 160,000 people worldwide.
Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said: “Ten thousand jobs is a huge number and it will be difficult for BT to shed that amount in one year.
“We’ll be holding BT to their statement, made by Ian Livingstone this morning, that there will be no compulsion to meet these cuts. The CWU will oppose any compulsory redundancies by whatever means necessary.
“We have a meeting set up with BT to discuss the detail of how these reductions will be implemented. We’ll be emphasising voluntary redundancies and natural wastage, but this is clearly far from an ideal situation for BT employees.”
The job losses come as the firm announced a 11% fall in pre-tax profit for the July to September quarter. Pre-tax profits totalled £590m and the firm said revenue rose 4% to £5.3bn.