AT&T Workers Losing Their Jobs Due to Smartphones, Internet

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More than five dozen AT&T workers are losing their jobs as smartphones and the Internet negate their expertise.

AT&T, the original Bell, has eliminated thousands of jobs in the past several years amid higher demand for wireless and IP services.

Now, the company is cutting 71 phone operator positions in New Haven and Waterbury, Conn. More customers are finding phone numbers online or through their smartphones. An AT&T spokesman told The AP the job losses don't count as layoffs because most, if not all, of the operators probably will take voluntary severance packages that include severance pay and six months of paid health insurance.

A union president told the newswire service that AT&T will keep its operator service centers in Hamden and New London.

Directory assistance calls have dropped by 63 percent nationwide since 2009, AT&T told AP.

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