Verizon Communications is seeking to eliminate 1,700 jobs from its wireline business, or about 1.9% of the unit's workforce, citing the need to "service its customers well while keeping prices competitive."
The telco's wireline workforce had already declined 1.3% in the first quarter of 2012 on an annual basis, to stand at 90,800 employees at the end of March.
Verizon has now "declared a workforce surplus in certain areas of its wireline business," spokesman Rich Young said.
The telco is offering about 1,700 employees buyout packages to voluntarily leave the business. "If efforts to reduce the company's headcount through voluntary means are unsuccessful, layoffs are a possibility," Young said, adding that layoffs are not a certainty and that it would be several months before reaching that step in the process.
Young said most of the jobs targeted for cuts are either technicians or employees who work in call centers.
About 45,000 Verizon's union-represented employees in the Northeast are currently working a new contract, while the unions and the telco continue to negotiate. The workers went on strike for two weeks in August 2011.
The reduction is focused in Verizon's wireline business, which operates in Washington, D.C., and 12 states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas and California.
For the full year 2011, Verizon reported consolidated revenue of $110.9 billion and a net income attributable to Verizon of $2.4 billion.