With traditional wireline long-distance business being consistently replaced by mobile phones, smartphones and IP-based technologies, AT&T finds itself fighting with the union and at least one state attorney's office in New England to lay off workers.
attorney general of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, is
about to be embroiled with the sole provider of service for the iPhone,
AT&T. The battle will be over the planned layoffs of more than 150 workers
in the state by the telecommunications giant who is now primarily a mobile
service provider. As AT&T's long-distance wireline business continues to
slump, labor cuts have become a common occurrence with the major
telecommunications companies, including Verizon and others.
Communications Workers of America Local 1298 announced that it received notice
from AT&T about the forced layoffs on Sept. 15, and the cause was "a
declining workload," said the union's Website. The bulk of the layoffs
will happen to installation and repair technicians, but it will also affect
many other support positions and service delivery technicians for business
Company anticipates that there will not be enough jobs available to offer to
surplused employees and will therefore be following the lay-off path as defined
in Article 7 of our collective bargaining agreement," wrote Local 1298 on
its Website on Sept. 20.
has fought AT&T over layoffs before and is seeking action from the
Department of Public Utility to stop the job cuts since the company has been
cited for service quality issues in the past.
the workforce that services telephone lines in the face of existing challenges
forcing overtime and other measures seems like a recipe for harming our
economy, workers and consumers," wrote Blumenthal on the state's Website. "I am determined
to challenge these 151 layoffs that will potentially harm not only the workers
and their families, but also service quality for customers. I will immediately
seek review and action by the Department of Public Utility Control, which has
recognized AT&T's past failures to meet service quality standards by
imposing $1.1 million in fines. I will also investigate and explore all of the
facts and potential remedies."
said publicly it is offering transition jobs and other positions in the state
to affected workers, but details are still being ironed out.
affected employees have a guaranteed job offer in state-a rare benefit even in
good economic times," AT&T spokesperson Marty Richter told NBCConnecticut.com.
"Most affected wireline technicians will have the opportunity to apply for
technician jobs, at their current pay, in our growing U-verse video business."