Italy govt intervenes over T.Italia layoff plans

ROME, July 12 (Reuters) - Italy's government has intervened over Telecom Italia's TLIT.MI plans to lay off about 6,800 workers and summoned the country's largest telecom operator to talks with unions, in a boost to labour groups campaigning against the cuts.

Announcing plans for the government-mediated negotiations, Labour Minister Sacconi urged the company to ditch “unilateral acts” and called for a “true discussion” on its industrial plan.

The government will host the talks between the company and unions on Wednesday, Italian news agencies reported. It comes after unions held a strike last week over the cuts, saying the company was dramatising the crisis to justify layoffs and should not axe jobs while turning a profit and paying out a dividend.

Heavily indebted Telecom Italia has announced plans to cut 3,700 jobs through June 2011, for a total of 6,800 positions between 2010-2012 as part of a turnaround plan.

Analysts are monitoring Telecom Italia’s ability to push through the job cuts in a country that has powerful labour unions and a government under pressure over an austerity package that has already spurred protests. (Reporting by Valentina Rusconi; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)