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GTE CALIFORNIA TO CUT ABOUT 514 POSITIONS DUE TO COMPETITION, IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEMS

 THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE California today announced plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 514 management and hourly positions in an effort to downsize in response to increasing competition and advancements in technology, systems and processes.
 The majority of the affected employees are cable splicers and frame maintainers at locations scattered throughout the company's service area. Wherever possible, the company will offer displaced employees job transfer opportunities.
 Employees who do not find another job within GTE will leave the company on March 7. Separated employees will be entitled to severance pay and other benefits, including outplacement services.
 "These layoffs are a painful but necessary response to an industry going through dramatic and rapid changes," said Susan Clay, acting vice president and general manager for GTE California. "We are part of an historic convergence of phones, computers and television, which is resulting in unprecedented levels of competition. We must respond appropriately by deploying advanced technology to serve customers in the best manner possible."
 Clay noted that for the past decade, GTE has pursued a measured process of downsizing, simultaneously implementing advanced technology to serve customers better, faster and more cost-effectively.
 Clay also said the sluggish California economy was a contributing factor to the reduction. "Line growth and network usage growth have dropped significantly since 1990, reducing the demand for some work categories.
 "When you look at the big picture, the best contribution GTE can make to California's economic revitalization is to provide state-of-the- art telecommunications capabilities that help attract and retain businesses. Toward that goal, we already have installed fundamental elements of the information superhighway, giving customers access to a wide range of advanced data and video conferencing services in the majority of our communities."
 The company also has implemented improved systems and processes that meet customer needs more quickly and conveniently while reducing company expenses.
 For example, GTE California has implemented Express Dial Tone, which connects vacated residential lines in GTE serving areas directly to company service offices. Customers moving to or within GTE areas can order service or confirm a previous order. Service can be established within a couple of hours of the initial call or at some other time selected by the customer.
 GTE California, based in Thousand Oaks, provides local and regional long distance service and data communications to 3.1 million customers in 330 communities. The majority of the company's service territory is in Southern California, including major portions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. GTE also serves significant areas of Northern California, including Los Gatos and Novato.
 Its parent company, GTE Corp., is the fourth-largest publicly owned telecommunications company in the world.
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 /CONTACT: Larry Cox or Daniel Smith of GTE California, 800-227-5556 (out-of-state) or 805-372-5870/


CO: GTE California ST: California IN: TLS SU:

LS-JL -- LA003 -- 0160 01/07/94 12:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 7, 1994
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