February 21, 2014

Windstream cuts 22 jobs in Dalton

From Staff Reports

— Windstream announced Friday the company plans to cut 22 jobs in Dalton as part of an estimated 400-job reduction nationwide.

The cuts follow Windstream slashing 47 jobs in Dalton in January 2013.

Windstream provides residential telephone, Internet and digital TV service as well as voice and data network services to business.

“Changes that affect people are never easy, but they are necessary for Windstream to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Windstream president and CEO Jeff Gardner in a press release. “We continue to invest in our growth areas, primarily business services and consumer broadband, and at the same time we must maintain a disciplined approach to expense management.”

The press release states the changes are expected to bring annualized savings of approximately $20 million. The company expects a charge of $9 million to $10 million in the first quarter to pay severance benefits to employees.

In addition to severance payments, the affected employees will receive help moving into the job market.

Windstream spokesman David Avery said the majority of the positions in Dalton are in the service activation organization. Those positions “perform certain programming functions to activate service as part of order processing,” said Avery.

“We will maintain a small service activation group in Dalton after the reduction is complete,” he added. “In addition, we will utilize an outside company to assist with the service activation process. These are not customer-facing roles. The outside company also provides other IT and customer support services for us. It is a global firm with offices in India and around the world. Our employees will continue to interact with any customers, if needed, during the service activation process.”

After the company’s round of cuts in Dalton in 2013, some jobs were reassigned to the company’s office in Cornelia and others were outsourced to the same company in India.

Windstream has some 1,200 employees in Georgia, including about 275 in Whitfield County. The company has about 13,500 employees.