(12/10/18) Verizon Communications on Monday said 10,400 employees are taking a voluntary buyout, the latest example of corporate downsizing as big companies shift from old lines of business to new opportunities while the economy is still strong.
A total of 44,000 Verizon workers were offered the buyouts, which, depending on length of service, could add up to as much as 60 weeks’ salary, bonus and benefits, the communications company said in a statement.
Verizon’s culling of its labor force comes shortly after General Motors said it would lay off tens of thousands of workers in a shift to making more SUVs and fewer sedans.
Some observers say the job cuts at GM, Verizon and other big companies is an early warning of a possible economic slowdown ahead, with one tally predicting U.S. companies will cut nearly 495,000 jobs this year.
Verizon employees who volunteered for the buyouts were told Monday whether they’d been accepted and whether their employment would conclude this month or in March 2019 or June 2019, the company said.
The reductions represent nearly 7 percent of Verizon’s total workforce, which came to 152,300 at the end of the third quarter. Verizon first announced the restructuring in September as part of a pricey push into 5G network service.
In a letter to employees, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg wrote: “For those who were accepted, the coming weeks and months will be a transition.
For the entire V Team, there will be opportunities to work differently as we prepare for the great things to come at Verizon.”
Wall Street seemingly did not think much of the cuts, with shares of Verizon down almost 1 percent Monday.
The reductions come amid a four-year, $10 billion cost-cutting program that former CEO Lowell McAdam unveiled last year.