Italy's Wind Tre sees potential 1,500 job losses over three years: union

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian phone carrier Wind Tre could cut its workforce by more than 20% over three years, threatening as many as 1,500 jobs, a union official said on Friday, as price competition in a crowded market combine with lower margins for telecom operators.

Owned by CK Hutchison 0001.HK, the ports-to-telecoms arm of retired billionaire Li Ka-shing's businesses, Wind Tre is Italy's third-largest mobile operator, with a market share of 28.1%, according to data from Italian communication watchdog AGCOM.

In a meeting with trade unions on Thursday, Wind Tre executives had told trade union representatives the company sees potentially 1,500 redundancies out of a workforce of around 7,000, Riccardo Saccone of SLC-CGIL union told Reuters.

Wind Tre agreed to start negotiations with trade unions in a bid to manage the staff cuts with financial incentives, re-skilling programs and in-sourcing part of its operations, Saccone said.

A spokesman for Wind Tre said the company wishes to manage the process in agreement with trade unions.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle