AT&T to Bring Back Customer Support Staff

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2006-09-21 Print this article Print

The company said the 2,000 tech support workers will be back on its payroll by 2008, although AT&T does not know yet where the workers will be located.

AT&T will bring back 2,000 in-house technical support jobs that had been handled by outsourcing providers.

Half had been located in the United States, while the other half had been handled offshore, a company spokesman said. He declined to name the outsourcing providers.

The workers support DSL customers who install their own service and have questions about it, according to the company.

The telecom carrier, based in San Antonio, Texas, said the workers will be back on its payroll by 2008, although a company spokesman said AT&T does not know yet where the workers will be located.

"This is one more example of how we're working together with our union to add jobs in growing parts of our company," said Bill Blase, executive vice president for labor relations at AT&T, in a statement.

"We're pleased that the Communications Workers of America has recognized the mutual importance of creating these jobs with competitive wages and benefits that enhance the company's ability to compete while creating good jobs," Blase said.

All non-management AT&T employees, about 100,000, are represented by the union.

The company spokesman declined to say whether the union had made concessions, but did say, "This is a competitive wage and benefit package."

The deal with the CWA is the second the company and the union have reached in recent months, AT&T said.

Previously the company and the union agreed on a contract covering premises technicians that perform installation work at customer homes for AT&T's U-verse video service.

Check out eWEEK.com's for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on Zcast.tv. He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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