Vodafone sorry for ‘See You Jimmy’ Scottish job cuts picture

Telecoms giant Vodafone has apologised ‘unreservedly’ after a senior director donned a ‘See You Jimmy’ tartan hat for a company intranet picture shortly before meeting Scottish staff facing job cuts.

Antonio Shabbir was photographed wearing the joke cap and brandishing a bottle of Irn-Bru.
Antonio Shabbir was photographed wearing the joke cap and brandishing a bottle of Irn-Bru.

Antonio Shabbir was snapped wearing the joke cap and brandishing a bottle of Irn-Bru for the photograph which was captioned: “Getting ready for this month’s ‘Audience with Antonio’...some exciting news to share.”

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The 43-year-old customer operations director was due to travel to Glasgow on Thursday to brief colleagues on plans to relocate their jobs to Manchester.

The crass post sparked a furious response from Vodafone staff facing an uncertain future.

One said: “Is this really how a professional business goes about its business? Here we are in Scotland sitting at our desks waiting to hear news of our pending redundancies and this pops up.

“What’s the news? We’ve binned 350 plus jobs?”

Another wrote: “Astonished at this. Multiple redundancies in Scotland and this is what a senior leader posts? Truly awful.”

The post appeared on staff computer screens via Workspace, an internal network used by Vodafone. It was quickly deleted after complaints.

It is understood Mr Shabbir pulled out of his appearance at the Scottish office and sent a deputy instead.

Vodafone staff had until yesterday to volunteer to move south of the border as part of the company’s restructuring.

Those affected will have two months to accept a move or lose their jobs. Others will find out in July if their job is secure.

Paul Sweeney, Shadow Scotland Office Minister and MP for Glasgow North East, told the Daily Record: “This looks insensitive at best and utterly callous at worst.

“This is a time of great uncertainty for 350 Glasgow works and their families, including my constituents. They deserve better than a boss who thinks this is an appropriate moment for crass humour and dressing up.

“These potential job losses are no joke.”

Mr Sweeney added that a company as successful as Vodafone should commit to its Glasgow operation and reassure workers.

A spokesman for Vodafone UK said: “It was an internal event. No offence was meant and we apologise unreservedly.”

Mr Shabbir has worked at Vodafone for around eight years, two as customer operations director. He previously held posts at mobile phone firms EE and T-Mobile.