Verizon to reduce its wireline workforce by 1,700

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is looking to shed about 1,700 field technicians and customer service and call-center workers to cut costs in its traditional voice business, a segment where revenues continue to decline every quarter as consumers purchase voice services from cable operators and ditch their landline for a wireless phone.

If not enough employees accept a voluntary buyout package, the service provider said it might have to resort to layoffs.

"If efforts to reduce the company's headcount through voluntary means are unsuccessful, layoffs are a possibility, but it cannot be said with certainty that layoffs will occur," said Phil Santoro, a Verizon spokesman, in an e-mail to FierceTelecom. "There are numerous steps to take to before moving to layoffs. It would be several months before reaching that step in the process."

Santoro added that what's driving this latest round of cuts is that it has a "workforce surplus in certain areas of its wireline business."

Verizon has about 192,000 employees on its payroll.

Last August, 45,000 of Verizon's union wireline workers went on strike after the two sides failed to reach an agreement for a labor contract. The union workers, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) unions, were opposed to a number of concessions the service provider sought on pension and healthcare contributions.

While the union workers did return to work two weeks later, they are still in the process of negotiating a new labor contract with Verizon.

For more:
 - Reuters has this article

Special Report: Verizon strike: Full coverage

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