May 6, 1995 in Nation/World

Ldds To Close Operator Center About 90 Workers At Long-Distance Center Stand To Lose Jobs

By The Spokesman-Review
 

LDDS Communications will close its Spokane long-distance operator center less than one year after acquiring the operation.

Employees received a memo this week indicating the closure will occur around October 1, but spokesman Charles Canada said the doors may stay open longer.

With several months notice, he said, “This will give people an opportunity to think about it.”

He said he did not know how many people would be affected, but added that the Spokane customer service and sales operations would likely remain open.

A employee who recently left the company said Friday about 90 people were working for LDDS in Spokane.

LDDS, the fourth-largest long-distance carrier in the country, bought the Spokane center last July from Impact Telecommunications Corp., which was owned in part by a subsidiary of The Washington Water Power Co.

Canada said the operator center will be consolidated into others to trim costs.

“We’ve always anticipated we would have to do some things to justify the cost of the acquisition,” he said. “We’ve been in the process of consolidating operator operations for some time.”

The disclosure comes on the same day US West Communications closed two of its downtown offices, putting about 40 employees out of work.

The Residence Business Office and Credit Management Center had employed 150, but most were absorbed into other company operations or found new jobs with other companies, Area Manager Sharon Matthews said.

The closure was the largest of several that will eventually trim US West employment in Spokane by 250 positions.

Matthews said about 500 workers will remain on the payroll.

The cuts were necessary to trim costs in response to a more competitive marketplace for telecommunications services, she said.

The Communications Workers of America held an informational picket and demonstration in support of affected employees Friday afternoon at the Washington Mutual Building.


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