Saturday, April 19, 2008

AT&T to cut 4,600 jobs (but hire in Mobility)

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T Inc. on Friday said it plans to cut about 4,600 jobs, or 1.5 percent of its work force, to shift resources to growing parts of its business.

The nation's largest telecommunications provider said most of the layoffs will be among managers, particularly in wireline operations, including local phone service and service for large corporate customers. Jobs in corporate functions in like finance will also be cut.

"Even with the reductions announced today, we expect our head count overall to remain stable this year as we hire additional employees to support growth areas like wireless and TV," said spokesman Michael Coe.

The San Antonio-based company said in a regulatory filing that it plans to take a $374 million first-quarter pretax charge against earnings due to the job cuts. The company reports first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

The company had 309,500 employees at the end of last year. When it announced the acquisition of BellSouth Corp. in 2006, it has said it would cut 10,000 jobs over three years from the combined company to eliminate overlap. The cuts announced Friday are not part of that reduction, and is the largest announcement of job cuts by the company since then.

Despite the layoffs associated with the BellSouth acquisition, the combined work force grew by 7,000 last year, as the company built up its growing wireless and TV divisions even as land lines shrank in the face of competition from wireless and cable phone service.

Its shares fell 6 cents to $37.51 Friday.

source: Associated Press

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