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CWA Fights Unnecessary Layoffs at AT&T

Statement from President Shelton:

CWA is continuing to fight AT&T’s proposed layoff of more than a thousand workers, a betrayal of the company’s promise to create thousands of good, middle class jobs.

Since AT&T announced plans just before Christmas to lay off technicians and call center workers in nearly every geographic region, CWA has been working on several fronts to block this action.

A recent series of round-the-clock discussions with the company resulted in a delay of the effective date of the earliest layoffs to Jan. 9, but so far we haven’t been able to completely stop this surplus. We have been able to prevent a small number of layoffs.

So far, AT&T has put forward a proposal to cut thousands of work hours from employees’ schedules, while continuing to contract out work and send good jobs overseas. The contracting out of this work and AT&T’s offshoring of good jobs is the real issue. AT&T must stop hiring contractors to do the same work that employees are qualified and trained to do.

CWA members are frustrated, especially in light of AT&T’s statements and pledge to invest at least $1 billion and create at least 7,000 good middle class jobs, as CEO Randall Stephenson promised last year.  CWA will continue to fight back against these job cuts and to demand that contracted work be performed by AT&T employees.

CWA District 6 (covering the Southwestern states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas) filed a federal lawsuit and National Labor Relations Board charges asserting that the company is violating the AT&T Southwest collective bargaining agreement by laying off workers while at the same time using contract employees to do work that CWA members are trained and qualified to perform.

Other districts where AT&T is proposing to lay off workers later this month and in February and March have filed executive grievances challenging the layoffs and the company’s use of contractors. CWA will pursue every possible avenue and take whatever action is necessary to stop these layoffs and keep good middle class jobs in our communities.

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