Sprint today announced that they will reduce their staffing by nearly 8,000 people. Along with other benefit reductions, that is expected to save the company approximately $1.2 billion per year.
Layoffs will take place over the next two months and will affect all levels of the company, all across the country. A large chunk of the jobs, estimates are around 2,000, are expected to be lost near the company headquarters outside Kansas City. The company will also suspend their 401(k) matches, pay increases and tuition reimbursement program through 2009. The suspended tuition program is expected to heavily impact universities in the Kansas City area, who benefit from the large number of employees who take advantage of that program.
These cuts are part of a larger initiative by the company to restructure, pay off debt and reduce expenses. Sprint repaid $2 billion in debt in the second half of 2008 and at the end of the third quarter 2008, the company had a cash balance of $4.1 billion.
Actions at Sprint today were just part of what analysts are calling Bloody Monday in which over 71,400 jobs at seven other companies were lost or announced that they would be cut. Texas Instruments also announced that they would reduce staffing by 3,400 employees, although half of those are voluntary, through early retirement or other measures. Savings from the reductions at TI are expected to be $700 million annually, after all reductions are completed in the third quarter of 2009.