Friday, April 18, 2008

AT&T to layoff 4,650 employees

(Wichita Business Journal - St. Louis Business Journal) AT&T Inc. is laying off 4,650 employees, or 1.5 percent of its workforce, in order to operate more efficiently after bringing together several companies in recent years, according to a regulatory filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The job cuts are primarily among management employees. AT&T is streamlining its operations particularly in non-customer-facing areas so that the company is more focused on customers, according to the filing. The company's overall headcount is expected to remain stable in 2008, though, as the company hires additional employees to support growth areas, according to the filing. Those growth areas include AT&T's wireless, home TV and broadband businesses.

"It's important to put the announcement in context. AT&T is a huge organization, with more than 300,000 employees," Walt Sharp, AT&T spokesman, said in a statement. "We are constantly adjusting our headcount, primarily to get more employees into our growth areas. The bottom line is that we remain one of America's largest employers and we are putting jobs where our customers are." AT&T will take a pre-tax charge of $374 million in the first quarter of 2008 associated with these force reductions. San Antonio-based AT&T Inc. provides local and long-distance telephone and Internet service in Missouri and Illinois.

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