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Phone company lays off 40

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POSTED: October 4, 2007 5:04 a.m.
Coastal Communications is eliminating the jobs of 40 local employees because of duplication of positions at its parent company, CenturyTel Inc of Monroe, La.
The reductions, which will be phased in through April 2008, are equivalent to related jobs with CenturyTel operations.
Coastal says all affected employees will be eligible to apply for vacant positions within CenturyTel and will also be eligible for severance, outplacement and job search assistance.
“Eliminating duplicate positions is a difficult but necessary part of integrating companies,” Coastal President Durand Standard said. “We are very proud of the excellent job our employees have done over the years and we are committed to maintaining the high level of service our customers have come to expect from us.”
Coastal Communications will continue to have a substantial workforce in the Hinesville area, as all service technicians and other local employees will remain with the company. Coastal will also retain local offices in Hinesville, Richmond Hill and Fort Stewart to provide customers in-person service.

CenturyTel
“CenturyTel is committed to continuing the tradition of serving local customers with the utmost courtesy and concern,” Standard said. “These changes will not impact customers’ ability to order new services or to receive help of any kind with their existing services. They will continue to call the same number and receive the same level of care.”
In an August Centurytel press release announcing dividends to shareholders and a stock repurchase Glen F. Post III, chairman and chief executive officer said, “CenturyTel has returned more then $2.1 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and cash dividends since early 2004. We remain confident in our ability to generate strong cash flows to support appropriate levels of investment in our business while also repurchasing shares under this new program.”
 

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