Bell Atlantic Corp., the Philadelphia-based parent of Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland, announced a plan yesterday to reduce its management ranks by more than 3,500 through an early retirement incentive program.
Bell Atlantic has 68,000 employees, including about 10,300 in Maryland. About 18,000 of its workers are salaried employees in management positions.
"The area where we feel that we are overstaffed is in the management ranks," Cynthia M. Ciangio, a Bell Atlantic spokeswoman, said.
About 17 percent of the C&P employees in Maryland hold management positions.
Bell Atlantic estimates that 6,300 of its workers will qualify to take advantage of the new retirement program. The company, however, plans to limit initial participation to 3,500 workers, based on seniority.
After the initial phase of the program, there will be other benefits to encourage additional early retirements as the company is able to handle the reductions, Ms. Ciangio explained.
She said that the company was not able to estimate how much money would be saved by the program because it was too early to say how many workers would accept it.
To boost eligibility for the retirement program, Bell has agreed to add three years to an employee's age or the number of years of service.