Protests Ensue After AT&T Lays Off 500 Employees

Approximately 500 AT&T wireline employees will be offered severance packages or possible transfer opportunities, and they’re not happy about it. The first batch got the bad news this week.

The cuts will affect about 90 workers in Atlanta, spurring 30 protesters, including union representatives and Occupy Atlanta demonstrators, to gather in front of AT&T’s Atlanta headquarters, WABE-TV reported.

“Bottom line is they care nothing about their employees,” said Walter Andrews, president of the Atlanta chapter of the Communication Workers of America, which represents about 2,400 AT&T employees. “A few years from now a lot of other people will be out here with the same argument until people wake up and have an outcry to stop AT&T from doing what they’re doing,” he told the station.

AT&T defended itself, saying that a change in business structure is the reason for the layoffs. A spokesman for the carrier said the layoffs are a consequence of customers shifting from landlines to wireless phones, the report said.

Still, protestors are not satisfied.

“Each corporation is kind of like playing Jenga with American society. How much can they pull out before the whole thing collapses?” one Occupy protestor told WABE. “At this point, we’re just standing up.”

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