` Columbia Journal - Business: Job Cuts in Telephone and E-com
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Job Cuts in Telephone and E-com

One of WorldCom's former targets for take-over Sprint Canada has announced 350 layoffs as a result of slowing consumer markets.

The move follows on the heels of private long distance phone company GT Group Telcom's announced lay-off of 360 jobs and application for bankruptcy protection.

Observers says these firms are responding to the same slowing market conditions which have led to lower revenues and higher debt loads for WorldCom, Global Crossing, Teleglobe and 360 Networks.

Bosses at Sprint had asked the Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Commission, which regulates the phone and electronic communications industry, to reduce by 60 to 70 per cent the rate which it and other service provider firms pay to major telecommunications giants, like Telus and Bell Canada, for the use of their communication lines.

The CRTC only agreed to reduce the fees by 15 per cent. The major firms, which still control about 90 per cent of commercial and 99 per cent of residential phone services, are also cutting services and laying off staff.

Telus bosses said in May they would offer early retirement packages to up to 11,000 workers, sparking wide spread condemnation by union representatives and consumer advocates. AT&T Canada will be laying off 1,000 people over the summer.

Meanwhile, the France-based Alcatel has announced over 500 layoffs at its Canadian operations, as part of a global down-sizing effort that see over 10,000 layoffs worldwide.

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