Sprint Nextel to axe 8,000 jobs to save $1.2 billion

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Sprint Nextel, the company which will bring out the Palm Pre in the US, has said that it will axe 8,000 positions, or 14 percent of the company’s workforce, to make savings of $1.2 billion annually, and will expect most of the job cuts be done by March 31.

The plan also includes 850 positions to be eliminated under a “voluntary separation plan” that was started last year. The job cuts comes as rival AT&T announced it will eliminate 4 percent, or 12,000 jobs, of its workforce around a month ago.

“Labor reductions are always the most difficult action to take, but many companies are finding it necessary in this environment,” CEO Dan Hesse said in the statement.

“We continue to improve the customer experience and these improvements are reflected in much higher levels of satisfaction in customer surveys and in independent performance tests. Our commitment to quality will not change.”

Also, it plans to suspend its 401(k) match and its tuition reimbursement program, and extend a 2008 suspension of annual salary increases, during 2009.