Wind Tre became the latest Italian operator to buckle to pressure in the country’s mobile market, opening talks with unions over shedding around a fifth of its workforce as part of cost-cutting measures, Reuters reported.

Riccardo Saccone, secretary general of trade union SLC-CGIL, told the news agency Wind Tre executives met with union leaders to negotiate redundancies which would affect 1,500 jobs, 21 per cent of the operator’s 7,000 staff, over the next three years.

A Wind Tre representative told Reuters the operator wished to manage the process with the cooperation of trade unions.

Competition in the country has increased since the entry of Iliad in 2018, which sparked a price war among operators with a range of aggressive promotions.

Vodafone Italia announced in March 2019 it could axe 15 per cent of its 7,000 workforce due to massive price drops, particularly in mobile, brought on by extraordinary competitive pressures.

GSMA Intelligence estimated Wind Tre had 29.3 million connections by end-Q4 2019, placing it as the nation’s third-largest operator behind Telecom Italia and Vodafone, respectively.