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Verizon plans to cut 13,000 landline jobs

Amid declines in its landline division, Verizon Communications Inc. plans to cut another 13,000 jobs in that business this year, its chief financial officer said Tuesday.

In a conference call with analysts about the company's lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results, CFO John Killian said the cuts would be similar to those made in the division in both 2008 and 2009 and amount to about 11 percent of the fixed-line divisions' current 117,000 employees.

Verizon's fourth-quarter sales rose 9.9 percent to $27.1 billion, lower than the $27.3 billion average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg News. Revenue for the fixed-line service, which provides homes and businesses with phone and Internet connections, fell 3.9 percent in the quarter as people turn to wireless phones. The company expects the business to pick up when the U.S. job market improves.

Verizon has 3,000 landline workers on Long Island, according to company spokesman John Bonomo.

There are 2,600 Verizon workers in Nassau represented by the Farmingdale-based Local 1104 of the Communications Workers of America, said an official of the local, which vows to fight any cuts. Suffolk Local 1108 has about 1,800 Verizon workers.

"We are in the process of having a grievance procedure right now," said George Bloom, who heads Local 1104. ". . . Our contract calls for Verizon to eliminate all contracted labor [outsource workers] prior to having a layoff, and they haven't done that."

He cited about 600 jobs in India. But Bonomo countered that the workers there provide 24-hour support.

Bonomo said he didn't have specifics on the cuts because the company hasn't issued a formal announcement, but he stressed that the reductions would be "across the country" and that in the past Verizon kept layoffs to a minimum through attrition, buyouts and contractor cuts.

With Bloomberg News

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