NewsLocal News

Actions

AT&T moving jobs from Appleton call center

Posted: 10:41 AM, Dec 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 22:22:22Z
at&t.jpeg

APPLETON, Wis. — On Tuesday, an email attributed to the President of the CWA Local 4621 union stated that that AT&T Call Center at 221 Washington Street in Appleton would close next year.

On Friday, December 14th members of the AT&T Call Center at 221 Washington Street in Appleton were informed that as of March 28th 2019 will be closed. The remaining 25 Call Center employees (an office once employing over 400) were told their jobs are being moved to South Field Michigan and Dayton Ohio. Severance package and termination pay meetings will take place the 1st week of January.
-- Joe Olson President CWA Local 4621

However, a statement from an AT&T spokesperson wanted to make it clear that the building is not closing and other employees will continue to work there. But, AT&T's statement does acknowledge that the company is "consolidating" some call center work at the Appleton facility.

“There’s a job offer for every affected employee at other facilities in the Midwest, and a relocation allowance. Due in part to declining call volumes and to increased efficiency, we’re consolidating some call center work currently done in Appleton into other facilities. The building is not closing, and other employees will continue to work there. We hired over 100 employees in Wisconsin in 2017, nearly 100 so far this year, and we’re currently hiring over 30 across the state.”
-- Statement from AT&T

In response to this story, the union president offered a follow-up email, calling AT&T's statement "spin".

"AT&T is correct that the building will remain open for other departments. However the Appleton Call Center is being closed," Joe Olson wrote in an email to NBC26. "AT&T calls this work consolidation. It is imperative to understand that if employees do not accept relocating, they are then terminated. Some employees may have relocation options within Wisconsin. If they are unable to move, forced retirement or termination are the only options."

Olson wrote the Appleton location has employed Telecommunications Call Center workers, "since what seems like forever". He calls this closure, "the end of an era".

A copy of Olson's email, published with permission, can be found here:

Hello, I see your article with the response from AT&T. What a wonderful spin they have put on this. AT&T is correct that the building will remain open for other departments. However the Appleton Call Center is being closed. Employee's work is being moved to either Southfield MI or Dayton OH as of March 28th. AT&T calls this work consolidation. It is imperative to understand that if employees do not accept relocating, they are then terminated. Some employees may have relocation options within Wisconsin. If they are unable to move, forced retirement or termination are the only options. This is political correctness for a wonderful tax break. The word "layoff" after pushing for a major tax plan that AT&T CEO Randy Stephenson said would create jobs. "7,000 jobs for every billion saved in taxes." Management has informed Call Center employees that this location will be closed. The affected employees are given the option to follow the work to those cites, if they so choose. However employees are being scheduled in January for Severance, termination packages and all options available to them. This location has employed Telecommunications Call Center workers since what seems like forever. Starting with AT&T then Wisconsin Bell, Ameritech, SBC and now again AT&T. Through the years as other Fox Cites Call Centers closed or "consolidated", Appleton remained open employing hundreds. Now that work will be no longer in the Fox Cites. It is an end of an era. Respectfully, Joe Olson