Windstream plans to cut jobs, offers cheap gas

On a day when it offered 49-cent gasoline to promote its newest Internet and telephone offering, Windstream Communications announced that weakness in its telephone business will force it to shed 350 jobs across the company by the end of the year.

Executives at Windstream, based in Little Rock, Ark., said in a news release that the company is feeling pressure on revenues in its residential phone business and that the cuts will help it focus on its Internet offerings and providing services to businesses.

Spokesman David Avery said that 100 of the 350 positions to be cut are now vacant or will be through attrition. The remaining 250 will be a mix of involuntary cuts and those who take a voluntary buyout. One person has been involuntarily laid off in Lexington, he said.

The severance package offered is two weeks of pay per year of service capped at six months.

The company has 7,100 employees across the 16 states in which it operates. It employs 630 in Kentucky with the majority in Lexington, he said.

The company expects to take a $15 million charge in its fourth-quarter results to pay for severance benefits.

The company will now focus more on its Internet offerings. To promote a new offer of Internet and unlimited nationwide calling for $49.99 a month for life, the company offered gasoline for 49 cents a gallon Wednesday at a Shell station on Versailles Road.