Bosses have used traffic lights to tell some 16,000 workers whether they face the sack at a huge mobile phone company created by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile.
Meetings of up to 60 staff a time at the new firm, Everything Everywhere, were shown a red light if their jobs are “at risk”.
Up to 1,200 have seen the red light so far.
Around 5,000 workers face the axe in total.
Many are thought to have had no idea what the meeting was about when they went in. One worker said, “Some sat there crying, others were absolutely dumbstruck.”
Others were shown a yellow light, which meant they must re-apply for their existing job.
A blue light meant they were being kept on, green indicated a small number of new roles.
Those sacked could lose their jobs as early as Christmas.