Employees at Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) should brace themselves for more layoffs now that the company’s CFO has publicly said the 16,000 cuts to be completed by the end of this year aren’t enough.
And other industry parties say that’s a bad move with repercussions including death.
John Killian, Verizon CFO, told analysts last week at an investor conference, “We’ve been steadily reducing our overall work force size. But, we realized that we need to do more and in an accelerated pace.”
Verizon has cut 8.000 jobs so far and intends to slash another 8,000 during 2009’s second half. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.
Killian blamed landline losses, stemming from both wireless adoption and a slowing housing market, but didn’t say when the unspecified number of layoffs will be implemented. Verizon also will combine its call center locations and integrate some services.
Workers protected by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union have been speaking out against the job cuts in light of Verizon’s profits. Myles Calvey, an IBEW representative, in August went so far as to tell Massachusetts lawmakers that Verizon job cuts “will lead to suicides, foreclosures and broken families.”
That sounds like fear-mongering rhetoric until you consider the suicides at France Telecom. Those deaths are being blamed on corporate cutbacks and contraction due to the recession, the very circumstances Verizon insists it’s facing.