Occupy Atlanta, the Communications Workers of America, the Teamsters and Jobs With Justice held a rallies last week to prevent AT&T from laying off hundreds of workers at a time when they are making record profits and paying their CEO $27 million. The company plans to lay off 740 workers in Atlanta. The company says they have offered the workers other jobs with the company, but they all appear to be lower-paying jobs with no benefits. The organizations rallying against AT&T demand that the current jobs be kept.
Michael Dawson, a service representative, was laid off last year, but got another job with the company. Dawson said worrying about losing his job again is draining.
“I may be axed with no opportunity for a job,” Dawson said. “We’re scared because the company will flip a switch and decide ‘we no longer need you.’”
Kim Ball, a maintenance administrator, knows what it’s like to face the layoff guillotine. Ball has been part of a downsizing effort before. She doesn’t want to go through that again.
“AT&T is making enough money to keep people on the payroll. Stop the layoffs. We want them to stop the layoffs,” Ball said.
12 protesters were arrested at a related rally earlier in the week.