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(Denver-AP) -- About 20-thousand nonunion managers at Qwest Communications International have received three-percent annual bonuses this week.
The confirmation of the bonuses came at about the same time a credit agency cut the company's credit status, and after Qwest asked union employees to volunteer for unpaid leave early next year.
Company spokesman Chris Hardman says the bonuses were not provided to executives ranked at vice president and above. He couldn't provide the total amount paid in bonuses.
Union officials say they'd been hearing for some time that the company might make a gesture to managers in recognition of the job cuts and decreased benefits they've seen during the past two years.
But they say they're not expecting bonuses for union employees.
Earlier this week, Standard and Poor's cut Qwest's credit rating to "selective default." An S-and-P analyst says the company will reassign Qwest's credit rating after reviewing the company's new capital structure.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)