Windstream Cuts Jobs, Pays $2.5 Million in FCC Settlement

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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Windstream Communications will cut 400 jobs, which the company says will increase efficiency of operations as it continues to focus on enterprise communications and services.

The positions, nearly half of which are being eliminated through a "voluntary separation initiative," will go away by March 3. It's a small percentage of Windstream's 13,500-strong workforce.

"Changes that affect people are never easy, but they are necessary for Windstream to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace," said Jeff Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Windstream. "We continue to invest in our growth areas, primarily business services and consumer broadband, and at the same time we must maintain a disciplined approach to expense management."

Windstream expects the layoffs to save the company $20 million. Windstream expects to incur a charge of $9-$10 million in the first quarter to pay severance benefits to those employees who are affected. The laid-off workers will also get outplacement counseling if they choose.

Meantime, the Little Rock, Ark.-based company has settled a case with the Federal Communication Commission after a federal investigation into rural-call completion.

Windstream will pay $2.5 million and implement a three-year plan in which it ensures compliance with the FCC's requirements aimed at making sure that long-distance calls in rural areas go through on a regular basis, Telecompaper reported.

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