Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBC's Deceiving PacTel Job Growth

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBC's Deceiving PacTel Job Growth

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- When SBC Communications Inc. agreed last year to buy Pacific Telesis, the companies promised the deal would create 1,000 new jobs in California.

Sure enough, PacTel has about 1,000 more employees, and SBC said Tuesday it's fulfilled its promise.

"It's good news," spokesman Larry Solomon said. The only thing is, the new jobs had nothing to do with the merger. In fact, they were all created before the merger took effect last month. The employment boom resulted from unexpectedly strong growth in the California economy and demand for telecommunication services, Solomon said. Meanwhile, despite the good news, some white-collar employees at PacTel and its Pacific Bell operating companies have reason to be nervous about their jobs. PacTel and SBC have only started reviewing their administrative operations to see where consolidations and job cuts might be made. About 100 finance jobs are being eliminated in San Francisco. Legal affairs, human resources, marketing and communications are also being examined, Solomon said. "There's a lot of moving parts here," explained Philip J. Quigley, PacTel's chief executive and chairman. "There's going to be pluses and minuses. So, while we've been racing ahead, we will be moving forward and backward." The consumer group TURN, The Utility Reform Network, said the way the promise of new jobs worked out vindicated its criticisms. "TURN has always felt that the covenant -- the word they used -- to add 1,000 new jobs, was an empty promise, because Pacific Bell is in a booming market right now, and they needed to add many more than 1,000 new jobs just to keep up with demand for its services," said Thomas Long, senior telecommunications attorney with the San Francisco-based group. PacTel and SBC of San Antonio announced their deal in April 1996 against a backdrop of mergers in telecommunications, banking and other industries that had resulted in huge layoffs. …

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