AT&T is planning to axe at least 15,000 jobs despite announcing better than expected fourth quarter earnings last week. The move is part of a cost cutting drive designed to streamline the company to win back business in its fiercely competitive home market, and expand in new areas such as the deregulated Europe. Between 15,000 and 18,000 jobs will go, according to company officials - mainly at managerial level. AT&T hopes to encourage voluntary redundancy by offering a one-off early retirement programme, boosting pensions by up to 20%. The company estimates that around 10,000 managers will opt for this scheme.
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