adding 700 workers
Utah, Idaho moves follow IT reductions
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Qwest Communications on Tuesday announced the opening of a
customer sales and service center in Utah that it said will
employ up to 600 people within the next several months. The
Denver telco also said it plans to add 100 jobs at its Idaho
At the same time, Qwest continues to cut jobs in other
areas, including 55 information-technology employees within
the past week, according to union officials. An additional
10 to 12 nonunion IT positions were believed to be part of
Qwest employs slightly less than 40,000 overall, down 5
percent during the past year.
Annie Hill, vice president of District 7 of the
Communications Workers of America, said the Utah center
stems from an agreement last year to bring more than 1,000
customer-service jobs back into the bargaining unit.
The CWA had feared it would lose more than 3,000 workers in
the next three years because of moves in 2004 by the Denver
telco to train contractors to handle customer sales and
service. While the union won back work, it did so at a
lower $10-an-hour wage rate for new hires.
Qwest spokesman Michael Dunne characterized the Utah jobs as
"new jobs to be hired locally." The Utah center will handle
calls from customers throughout the company's 14-state local
Suzi Miller, president of Local 7777 of the Communications
Workers of America, said union officials are still trying to
determine the reason for the IT layoffs.
Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs said the company doesn't discuss
or confirm layoff numbers. But he would say, "We're
continually adjusting our work force to match the needs of
Toevs also wouldn't say whether any of the IT work is being
shifted overseas. But he did confirm Qwest has a subsidiary
in Bangalore, India, "that allows us to continually balance
our workload so we can manage particular IT projects around
the clock, and deliver critical work on time."
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