Qwest employees anything but surprised
By Kevin Vaughan
April 23, 2010
It is not clear how many of the roughly 30,000 workers now
employed at Qwest ultimately would keep their jobs once the deal
is completed. Anyone who has spent any time in the
telecommunications business in
Analysts expect the deal to result in layoffs, with
But workers outside Qwest's downtown tower seemed less focused
on those prospects and instead approached the announcement more
philosophically. Tomlinson began work at Mountain Bell,
watched the breakup of the
Victor Kinard, a sales representative who is five years into his
career at Qwest, was almost giddy at the possibilities a few
hours after the announcement. "I'm excited," Kinard said
as he took a break next to a fountain in front of the Qwest
Speculation had been rampant in recent months that Qwest was
ripe for a takeover. "This has been a long time coming,"
said Joe Halpern, former
Kinard said there were times when he feared what might be looming for the company. Thursday's news was, in his estimation, about as far from doom-and-gloom as he could get. "Of all the things that could have happened, I'll take this," said Kinard, who sells a range of services to mid-market businesses. But there was still a lot that wasn't known.
In particular, it wasn't clear how many of the roughly 30,000 workers now employed at Qwest ultimately would keep their jobs once the transition is completed about a year from now.
"At this point, there is a whole lot of stuff that isn't nailed down, but certainly, we look forward to being a part of that process," said Al Kogler of the Communications Workers of America, the union for about 18,300 Qwest workers in 14 states.
And it isn't just current workers who have been carefully watching the company. Thousands of retirees don't know what the takeover might mean for their benefits.
"I think, quite frankly, we've all been looking for something to
put Qwest on a firmer financial footing," said Mimi Hull,
president of the Association of U S West Retirees. "I'm hopeful
this is it."
For Tomlinson and Kinard, the change announced Thursday may mean
a decision at some point in the future — such as possibly moving
out of state. For Tomlinson, a
Kevin Vaughan: 303-954-5019 or firstname.lastname@example.org