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CenturyLink plans about 1,000 layoffs; local impact is unclear

CenturyLink plans about 1,000 layoffs; local impact is unclear

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CenturyLink said Friday it plans to lay off about 1,000 employees nationwide.

It isn't clear if any Nebraska employees will be affected.

"We do not have specific impacts by community and/or by state at this time," a company spokesman said Friday.

"The positions that will be impacted will be finalized in the coming weeks," said Mark Molzen, the spokesman.

CenturyLink, which is based in Louisiana, employs about 1,000 people in Nebraska, including 900 in the Omaha area. It employs about 45,000 companywide, according to documents filed this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In an internal company email sent to employees, CenturyLink said it plans to finalize decisions and begin notifying employees later this month.

"We will eliminate approximately 940 jobs in our organization by early September," said the email, which was obtained by The World-Herald.

CenturyLink, in the email, said the cuts also include "placing a hold on hiring most new and backfill positions between now and the end of the year, reducing contract labor expenses in some areas of the business, and eliminating jobs through attrition." Earlier this week, CenturyLink reported disappointing second-quarter earnings, prompting the company to implement a "number of difficult cost-management decisions, including some job reductions," the company email said.

"CenturyLink's results for the second quarter were below our forecast and (Wall Street) consensus, primarily due to continued pressure on wholesale revenues and higher employee and benefit costs," Glen F. Post III, chief executive officer and president, said in a separate statement.

About three-quarters of CenturyLink's 900 Omaha-area employees are represented by the Communications Workers of America union.

Union officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment Friday.

CenturyLink has been remodeling and refurbishing the former AT&T Building at 19th and Douglas Streets to accommodate some of its divisions it is moving from the Omaha World-Herald Building at 13th and Douglas Streets.

A CenturyLink spokeswoman said it's not uncommon for employee groups to move between buildings. It owns the building on 19th Street.

"Omaha is an important growth market for CenturyLink," said Rachel Woodman, the spokeswoman.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1142, janice.podsada@owh.com

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