JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - AT&T is cutting 911 jobs in the Southeast, including 21 in the Jacksonville area, according to the local union president.
“Oh my God. This is — I mean, this is devastating,” said Communication Workers of America Local 3106 President Eric Brunke.
Brunke said Florida is the hardest-hit state with 171 AT&T job cuts.
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AT&T spokesperson Kelly Starling would not confirm those numbers.
“We are making some staff reductions involving technicians who install and repair certain services and network systems... It would be misleading to refer to this as ‘layoffs,’” Starling wrote in an email to Action News Jax.
“I think that’s just their spin trying to win public opinion. A surplus, a layoff, whatever you want to call it. Nine hundred and eleven people are losing their jobs. We can call it a party if they want to, but it ain’t. It’s 911 people leaving the payroll,” said Brunke.
Brunke said workers found out that they were losing their jobs on Friday.
On Monday, AT&T sent out a press release touting “At AT&T, we’ve invested more than $300 million in our Jacksonville area wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018.”
Brunke said now that the project is over, many of those workers are the ones losing their jobs.
“The timing of this press release is not coincidental,” said Brunke.
Starling said most of the employees losing their jobs work on wirelines.
She said AT&T “lost nearly 1.9 million wireline access lines between 2016 and 2018 – a decrease of 32 percent in just two years.”
Starling said employees who choose to participate in the company’s job bank program will get a severance payment, benefits and credit for their pensions for up to a year, and top consideration for other jobs within the company.
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