By Bruce Meyerson, The Associated Press
Denver Post
Wednesday, February 2, 2005

New York - SBC Communications Inc. said Tuesday it expects to eliminate about 13,000 jobs after its $16 billion acquisition of AT&T Corp. closes, but the telephone company emphasized that many of those positions can be cut through attrition rather than layoffs.

The projection came during an occasionally heated meeting with investors a day after SBC announced plans to acquire AT&T, its former corporate parent, in a deal that would create one of the world's biggest telecommunications companies on numerous fronts.

The cuts would come in addition to existing plans at the two companies to eliminate at least 12,000 jobs before the merger is finalized at least a year from now.

San Antonio-based SBC had recently indicated it would cut about 7,000 positions from its workforce of 163,000 during 2005, primarily through attrition, which executives said typically total about 1,000 a month.

AT&T, based in Bedminster, N.J., had already planned to eliminate at least 5,000 of its 47,000 jobs this year, although those cuts may involve layoffs in the customer call centers, which the company plans to close as it retreats from the traditional consumer-phone business.

SBC said the divisions that would have excess staffing following the merger included about 5,100 from management of the long-distance and local networks.

Another 5,100 would be cut from sales, order provisioning, billing inquiry and other forms of customer support.

About 2,600 additional positions would be eliminated in administrative areas such as human resources and the two companies' sizable regulatory and lobbying operations, which have fought countless legal battles against each other over the past 20 years.

Overall, workforce reductions will generate nearly 60 percent of the cost savings that the merger is expected to generate, SBC executives said in the presentation.