MCI WorldCom Confirms 2000 US job cuts

MCI WorldCom was set to notify about 2000 employees across the US on Friday that they will be laid off as of December 31, a company official said. The recently-merged company has about 75,000 employees worldwide.

Most of the jobs will be cut in the telecommunication giant's network operations, where a corporate review of the recently merged company has found duplication, said company spokeswoman Jamie DePeau.

However, MCI WorldCom is also adding employees in fast-growing areas, like Internet, international and data communication operations. Thus, the company's workforce may grow, despite the job cuts announced on Friday.

While the holiday news will sadden the affected employees, all of those being laid off will be given severance packages and job placement assistance, which includes the possibility of landing new jobs with the company, she said.

Before the merger with MCI, WorldCom had been on a buying spree. It acquired 65 companies and, with each of those acquisitions, "there has always been a net job gain" in the company, DePeau said.

The company hopes to continue annual revenue growth of 18 per cent, she said. Two-thirds of that growth has come from Internet operations, with 72 per cent annual growth, international operations, with 55 per cent annual growth and data operations, with 33 per cent, she said.

The job cuts in other areas, primarily network operations, will amount to 2.7 per cent of the overall workforce and will occur in dozens of US locations. Three locations will be most affected. About 300 of 4500 employees in Richardson, Texas, will lose their jobs, 150 of 2,000 in Cary, North Carolina, and 120 of 3,000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, DePeau said. Those three sites are network operations locations.

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