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Losing business, Qwest dropping employees

Tue, 03/18/2008 - 8:56am
Brian Santo

Qwest Communications is shedding more jobs, offering an early retirement package to employees in its traditional wireline business.

With the announcement of its fourth-quarter financials in mid-February (story here), Qwest had announced a layoff that would affect about 4 percent of its employees, dropping its headcount to about 36,800.

Qwest expects less than 2 percent of its remaining employees – about 725 people – to accept the new severance package it is now offering. In both cases, the company presented the cuts as natural attrition.

Nonetheless, the company attributed the cuts directly to access line losses. From the end of its fiscal 2006 to the end of its fiscal 2007, Qwest lost more than 1 million business and residential lines. Qwest ended 2007 with a total of 12.7 million lines.

Qwest does not own its own wireless network, nor does it provide video services on its own (with a few minor exceptions), so Qwest is less able to compensate for losses in traditional telephony than its peers AT&T and Verizon.

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