NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — In an effort to cut 1,700 jobs, Verizon Communications Inc. said on Monday that it offered voluntary buyouts to employees across 12 states.
The company is looking to lower costs in certain areas of its traditional wireline division, which saw a decline in the first quarter.
Spokesman Richard Young said Verizon VZ asked employees to leave by mid-July. The company said it could resort to layoffs if it is unable to reach targets through the buyouts.
The announcement comes after months of talks with unions over labor contracts that cover nearly half of its 192,000 employees. About 45,000 Verizon employees went on strike last August after the company pushed for cuts in health benefits and pensions when contracts with two major unions expired.
Young wouldn’t comment on what the buyout packages consisted of. He said that when Verizon has offered similar packages in the past, enough employees took the buyout that the company was able to avoid involuntary layoffs.
Verizon’s shares were up .5 percent in the early afternoon.