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Verizon to Slash 10,000 Jobs

Updated:
NEW YORK (AP) _ For the second year in a row, telecom provider Verizon Communications Inc. is cutting its employment rolls _ eliminating the budgetary equivalent of 10,000 jobs.

New York City-based Verizon, which counts 247,000 employees, will achieve that goal through layoffs, attrition and slashing overtime and subcontractor use, said spokesman Bob Varettoni. He was unable to immediately say how much money the move would save.

The job cuts were announced Monday by Verizon co-chief executive Ivan Seidenberg at a meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Last year, Verizon made a similar announcement but ended up shrinking its number of employees by 16,000. Most of the jobs reduced came through attrition. A voluntary buyout in December accounted for 7,000 of those jobs, Varettoni said.

Just 10 percent to 20 percent of jobs cut last year _ 1,600 to 3,200 _ were layoffs, he said.

Verizon also cut costs last year by eliminating overtime and contract employees who handled everything from food preparation to security, Varettoni said.

Verizon will look to trim those expenses again this year. But Varettoni acknowledged that much of the excesses in those areas _ especially overtime _ had already been done away with.

This year's job cuts will focus on Verizon's ``low-growth'' businesses _ chiefly local telephone service _ and not its fast-growing areas like long distance, digital subscriber lines (DSL), and long distance phone service, Varettoni said.

``Traditional telephone usage has been affected by the slowing of the economy and by substitution,'' Varettoni said. ``People are using wireless or DSL service, when in the past they would have bought a second phone line.''

No specific locations or facilities are being targeted, he said.
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