Verizon To Cut ‘Equivalent’ of 10K Jobs

By Erin Joyce

Verizon Communications , the nation’s largest local telephone provider, said it plans to cut the equivalent of 10,000 jobs from the payroll this year as part of a reduction in force it announced in 2001.

Verizon Spokesman Bob Varettoni said the company is looking to cut overtime costs and the use of consultants or contract employees in order to hit the reduction target.

While the phone company expects to have fewer employees than the roughly 247,000 it has now by year’s end, he said Verizon was hoping to avoid actually cutting 10,000 jobs.

In 2001, Verizon announced a reduction in force of 29,000, including cost reductions to the equivalent of some jobs, as the telecommunications shakeout hit the industry along with an economic recession.

The company ended 2001 with 16,000 fewer employees, 7,000 of which were the result of union employees that took voluntary buyout contracts. The other 9,000 employees either left or were laid off, Varettoni said.

That leaves the phone company with about the equivalent of another 10,000 jobs or cost cutting measures to achieve by end of 2002, he said.

The announcement about the job cuts first arose during remarks by Verizon co-Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg at a CS First Boston telecommunications conference in Florida.

Seidenberg told the analysts conference that the company is not seeing the signs of an economic rebound it was expecting, but is sticking with its financial projections of revenue in the range of $69.2 billion to $70.6 billion.

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