AT&T Workers Protest Plan to Move Jobs Out of State

AT&T plans to move nearly 90 jobs out of their Meriden call centers, and many union workers aren’t happy about it.

The union, CWA Local 1298, joined forces today with Sen. Richard Blumenthal to protest.

AT&T workers at that call center gathered Monday to speak out against the company’s plan to move 89 jobs to either Tennessee or Georgia.

The union says the jobs are specialized, good paying, and hard to find. They monitor and maintain the 911 system in 22 states.

Paul Scherban has been working in the building at the 911 Center for 25 years.

“It's nothing that you're just going to start doing immediately... there's a big learning curve,” the Wethersfield resident explained.

AT&T said the move to consolidate takes place throughout the year and won’t affect the majority of Meriden employees.

“I beg to differ with that as well in our bargaining unit here in CT there is probably a grand total of 150 people in the core business and this is 89,” said CWA Local 1298 president David Weidlich.

“We are talking good jobs public safety and fair treatment of people,” Blumenthal said.

The senator supported the workers at the protest, and said he agrees that these are not jobs Connecticut can afford to lose.

“We are here to send a message to AT&T to do the right thing keep these jobs here because it's more than just the individual workers it's their families and it is the people who are going to call 9-1-1,” Blumenthal said.

The company said there will be no impact to public safety – in fact the company claims the larger centers with more employees are more effective.

In a statement AT&T went on to say:

"Most affected employees, including all affected union-represented employees, will be offered a job at other U.S. company facilities, and a $20,000 relocation allowance. We hope as many of the affected employees as possible choose to stay with the company. Any who decline the relocation offer have the opportunity to seek other jobs within the company."

AT&T said the company hired 20,000 people last year, including 150 here in Connecticut.

The union says severance packages are also being offered.

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