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Lawsuit Delays AT&T Layoff Dates

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The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is taking AT&T‘s planned layoff of 713 employees to court.

The union, which is associated with the AFL-CIO, filed a lawsuit on Friday complaining that 152 displaced premises technicians will see AT&T subcontract their former their jobs to cheaper or overseas workers. AT&T argues that it is adapting to changing technologies and hiring more than before.

The Dallas Morning News uploaded the full document of the lawsuit, which provides important details about the layoff news that surfaced early last week.

CWA’s main complaint at the time was that AT&T was publicly celebrating the successfully signed tax law with holiday bonuses while quietly laying off a large number of employees. But the text of the lawsuit reveals that employees learned of the impending layoffs Dec. 14, a week before President Trump signed the tax legislation into law. The document also asserts that some of the workers’ positions themselves have not been eliminated; rather, they will be replaced by subcontractors.

CWA argues that AT&T is intentionally trying to reduce the union’s bargaining power with the layoffs.

“This is an action brought by a labor union… against an employer over the employer instituting an unprecedented massive layoff of employees represented by the union while at the same time massively subcontracting work that the employees are trained and qualified to perform, for the bad faith purpose of diminishing the employee bargaining unit for which the union serves as exclusive representative in willful, bad faith breach of a contractual promise to deal with the union with respect, fairness, and good faith,” the union wrote in the lawsuit.

AT&T spokesman Marty Richter told the Dallas Morning News that his company has actually increased its number of technicians.

“The fact is the allegations in the lawsuit are baseless,” Richter said. “We comply with the terms of our collective bargaining agreements and did so in this case.”

Richter told Channel Partners last week that many of the laid-off employees will find work elsewhere at AT&T, either at a new location or in a new position. He says shifting trends are forcing the company to increase its investment in new technologies.

“We’re adding people in many parts of our business that are experiencing higher customer demand. At the same time, technology improvements are driving higher efficiencies and there are some areas where demand for our legacy services continues to decline, and we’re adjusting our workforce in some of those areas,” he said. “We’ll work to find other AT&T jobs for as many affected employees as possible. Regarding premises technicians, we adjust the workforce based on changing market dynamics, which vary from region to region. In some regions we are hiring these same resources and these employees have the opportunity to transfer to those locations.”

But the union says AT&T isn’t planning a “reduction in workload” for the 152 premises technicians that install TVs and Internet services.

“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,” a CWA announcement said Monday. “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.”

But apparently AT&T has put a short pause on some of the layoffs.

“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,” CWA wrote. “We have been able to prevent a small number of layoffs.”

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2 comments

  1. Robert Mardis January 8, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

    thats good for district 6, despite layoffs in all districts, district 6 is the only CWA District to work for their members, what about the other 8 districts. District 4 is a fraud and hasn’t done anything but sit on their hands and watch district 6 do what they were suppose to do…. Fire the CWA!!

    • CJC May 25, 2018 @ 10:46 pm

      They are not just laying off… on a SSSSSSSSSShhhhhhh… moment..in Atlanta in Buckhead (Get directions
      575 Morosgo Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30324 Retention Dept for mobility… all on the 14th floor. What they are doing is finding ways to Terminate employees on Code of Business Conduct (COBC) especially CWA Union employees so they can be denied unemployment benefits, also not paying out the commission that the employee made before the termination not even your remaining balances of vacation (at least 21 hours of it) that the vested employee had earn. More people are using and finding ways to stay out on FMLA and short term disabilities, using Mental issues and stress from the company to stay out on medical leave with partial pay because they don’t want to be terminated! Unlike me they backdated my termination from the 30th of the month making sure I had no medical coverage for the 30 days after my termination.. Lost all my vacation hours, and to top it off I had two months worth of commission coming to me they cut me off and have not and will not pay me for my work. I was terminated on an incident that happened in January with loosing all info because of a faulty computer accounts that I access appeared to be accesses no changes made nothing is called data mining they terminated me in April.. from an incident on January 4th 2018!!!

      Mean while they are opening a center in the Philippines for Retention and in Mexico.. As I am not the only one there will be many more who go under investigation to find false accusations to destroy ones integrity and have the entire call center and others talk about you. Managers sleeping with Reps, Mangers Canceling lines for Reps to make sure they beat the system, Managers helping Reps to avoid surveys, Area Managers sleeping with Reps, to Managers marrying Reps, Managers having babies with other Managers, and only those who have favor with management or do not pay into the CWA union is safe with a Final written warning,

      Not only that in a matter of a month I have applied for jobs that I over qualify for and do qualify for and I seem to be blacked balled in the Workforce center number!!! After 4 years of dedicated service neglecting my kid for them.. helping the company to make millions.. This is billion dollar company and I cannot even be allowed to collect $330 a week for unemployment!! They just want you to die and be homeless!!! I cannot wait to have these devices paid off.. I will be sooooooo HHHHAAAAPPPYYYY to cancel EVERYTHING!!!! Because AT&T does not care about their employees.. life nor do they really value their customers… Especially to those of us who have never been on any corrected action since the start of employment!! No warning,.. nothing just straight termination.. Once you have made that seat money they are done with you.. and could care less whether you live or die!!!!

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