CenturyLink plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs following its $34 billion takeover of Level 3 and as it automates tasks previously carried out by employees. (See CenturyLink's $34B Deal for Level 3 to Close This Week.)
The company did not indicate which roles would go, but told Light Reading its headcount would fall by around 2% as a result of the cuts.
The third-biggest fixed-line operator in the US, CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) had about 51,000 employees on its books at the end of 2017, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Cutting 2% of roles would therefore equate to around 1,020 positions.
A spokesperson for the company blamed the merger with Level 3 for some of the layoffs and said automation would claim other jobs.
"The combination of two large companies creates redundant positions that must be addressed to remain competitive," said the spokesperson in comments emailed to Light Reading. "In addition, as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver high levels of customer service, we are implementing best practices and increasing automation. As a result of these two factors, we are reducing our workforce by approximately 2%." (See CenturyLink CEO: Automation Key to Improved Customer Experience.)
While not unexpected in the wake of the Level 3 merger, the announcement comes as a further blow to an industry that was already reeling from the impact of mass layoffs. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), the two largest US operators, together slashed more than 20,000 jobs last year, or nearly one in 20 positions. (See Efficiency Drive by Major Telcos Has Claimed 74K Jobs Since 2015.)
— Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading
This is an edited version of a story that was originally published on Telco Transformation's sister site, Light Reading. To see the full story, click here.