CenturyLink to ax 107 CWA union technicians in 8 states

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is going to dismiss 107 of its Communications Workers of America (CWA) union network and equipment installation technicians in eight states that made up Qwest's territory, reports The Denver Post.

The telco said in a letter to CWA District 7 that the layoffs are being carried out in order to "balance workforce with current and anticipated work volumes."

These cuts, expected to be completed by early July, will affect CWA employees in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Colorado appears to be a large target of these cuts. CenturyLink will dismiss 10 employees in Denver, four in Grand Junction, three in Colorado Springs, two in Pueblo, and one each in Durango, Granby, Salida and Sterling. Another 38 positions will be eliminated when it closes a call center in Grand Junction on July 18.  

"This certainly isn't a decision that we came to lightly. It never is," CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen said Thursday. "We are continually evaluating our cost structures, our business practices and, from time to time, we adjust our operations to meet the needs of the business."

Reducing its union-based workforce has been an ongoing trend at CenturyLink since it acquired Qwest in late 2011. According to The Denver Post report, union membership dropped to 17,000 in 2013, down from 20,000.

While the relationship between CenturyLink and the union has been fraught with challenges, including the threat of a strike, the two sides did reach an accord last October when Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 7 approved a new four-year labor contract.

For more:
- The Denver Post has this article

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