AT&T Plans Layoffs in Connecticut: Union

By Bob Connors
|  Wednesday, Sep 22, 2010  |  Updated 9:21 AM EDT
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AT&T Plans Layoffs in Connecticut: Union

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MIAMI - FEBRUARY 02: A rotary phone sits on desk of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The museum is located in the only known structure in the nation that was designed, devoted to and operated as a separate station house and municipal court for African-Americans. In September 1944, the first black patrolmen were sworn in as emergency policemen to enforce the law in what was then called the "Central Negro District." The precinct building opened in May 1950 to provide a station house for the black policemen and a courtroom for black judges in which to adjudicate black defendants. The building operated from 1950 until its closing in 1963. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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 The state will fight plans by AT&T to layoff 151 workers in Connecticut.

The Communications Workers of American Local 1298, which represents AT&T line workers, says the company notified them of the job cuts on Sept. 15.

A declining workload is to blame, according to the union website.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who has challenged layoffs by AT&T in the past, said Tuesday he's ready to fight these cuts.

"I am determined to challenge these 151 layoffs that will potentially harm not only workers and their families, but also service quality for customers," Blumenthal said.

The Attorney General said he will ask the Department of Public Utility Control to review AT&T's service quality standards.

"Reducing 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," Blumenthal said.

AT&T says its wireline business has declined over the past ten years, making way for new technologies.

"Most affected employees have a guaranteed job offer in state -- a rare benefit even in good economic times," AT&T spokesperson Marty Richter said. "Most affected wireline technicians will have the opportunity to apply for technician jobs, at their current pay, in our growing U-verse video business."

The union held a meeting with AT&T Monday night, but it's unclear what was discussed during the talks.

CWA 1298 members have scheduled a union meeting Thursday in Wallingford.

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