Told they will have to relocate or risk losing their jobs, Meriden-based AT&T workers are protesting Thursday at the state Capitol to support legislation that would have prevented the telecommunications giant from closing three of its call centers.
The telecommunications giant recently informed workers that certain operations in Meriden would be transitioned to offices in Atlanta, Ga. and Brentwood, Tenn., at the cost of 89 local jobs. Relocation and severance packages were offered to those impacted.
Members of the Communications Workers-America (CWA), the workers recently protested the announced closures alongside U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal to challenge the Dallas-based company's reasoning.
Their latest rally is timed to coincide with a public hearing on a bill that could change the workers' fates.
The Labor and Public Employees Committee is scheduled to hear public testimony Thursday at 11 a.m. on S.B. 990, or "An Act Concerning Call Centers and Notice of Closure," which the CWA said would protect call centers with 50 or more full-time or equivalent employees.
Officials from CWA will testify in support of the measure on Thursday.
AT&T operations in Meriden support 911 networks in 22 states, and CWA argues that closing the local call centers would impact those services. AT&T, however, said the closures will not impact public safety in Connecticut or elsewhere.
The fight to keep the Meriden call centers open has received backing from members of Connecticut's congressional delegation, who recently sent a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson asking him to reconsider the local closures.