Around 140 telecoms jobs are under threat after BT announced it is considering shutting down its city centre base.
The communications giant has opened consultations with office-based staff at New Telecom House over the proposed closure of the 12-storey building.
Only 10% of the College Street building is currently being used and BT said the costs associated with the renewal of the lease are “costly”.
BT also said “no decision has been made” but if the move gets the green light they will help workers secure roles elsewhere with the company, including at their base in Dundee.
The Evening Express understands it has also been suggested during internal staff briefings about the proposed changes that the office workers could re-train as engineers.
New Telecom House was built in 1976 and overlooks Union Square and the train station.
Last week BT announced its commitment to Dundee by naming it, along with Edinburgh and Glasgow, as vital locations for its Scottish operations.
Union bosses have branded the potential job losses as a “significant blow” for the city.
Craig Anderson, regional secretary of the Communication Workers Union in Scotland, said: “The loss of skilled jobs for Aberdeen is a significant blow.
“They are key workers and have worked right through the Covid-19 period keeping people connected and keeping their broadband going.
“It is devastating for the people in Aberdeen and it comes at a time when there’s been significant job losses in the oil industry.
“With everything else that is going on and with the prospects of high unemployment looming I don’t think it is particularly an easy one for people to swallow.”
A BT spokesman said there would be no impact on engineers who are helping around the north-east, including with the installation of the Granite City’s fibre optic broadband network.
He said: “We’ve started to consult with a small number of office-based colleagues and their union representatives on the proposed closure of New Telecom House.
“We only use about 10% of the building and the lease renewal is costly. No decision has been made but if the closure goes ahead as we propose, we’ll look at all options including helping colleagues find roles within BT Group sites, such as Dundee – which we announced as a key location last week.
“There’s no impact to customers and plans to extend Aberdeen’s full-fibre network are not affected.”
And North East Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr fears jobs will be lost.
He said: “BT already planned to cut back 300 UK offices to just 30, so I fear this exercise will be a foregone conclusion.
“Openreach also cutting back in the city means a double whammy for telecoms jobs.
“This is a terrible time to consult with workers.
“Many of these jobs are being done from home, so I’d urge the company to consider helping people stay in work, instead of sending jobs to office spaces elsewhere
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said the company has helped people remain connected with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic and urged the firm to reconsider.
He said: “BT and Openreach workers have done a sterling job in keeping many of us connected with friends and families through a difficult lockdown period, and they have done so in many cases while working from home.
“If employers have learned anything from the lockdown, it should be that workers do not need to be crowded together in ever fewer offices in order to do their jobs.
“I urge BT to review these plans. They should learn the lessons of lockdown, instead of looking backwards to obsolete twentieth-century models of centralisation. Rather than moving jobs away from the north-east, they should support their own staff, and also the economy of Aberdeen city and region at a time when such support is needed most.”
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart is planning on holding talks with BT later this week and said he will be doing all he can to save jobs in the Granite City.
He said: “I’ve scheduled a meeting with BT for Friday in response to this announcement and I’ll be urging BT to do all it can to protect jobs here in Aberdeen.
“While no decisions have been made, clearly jobs are on the line and I will be doing everything that I can to safeguard the livelihoods of folk in Aberdeen.”