Hundreds of demonstrators flooded the plaza outside AT&T's offices in midtown as Occupy Atlanta protestors and workers fearing big job cuts called for the telecommunications giant to call off the layoffs of hundreds of workers.
The company is in the process of cutting 550 jobs across the southeast, 95 of them in metro Atlanta.
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.
Joe Chandler, an AT&T spokesman, said the company has offered other jobs to almost all of the workers facing layoffs.
Walter Andrews, president of the communications workers of America Local 3204, along with other union members said the jobs the company is offering are substandard.
"They make less wages, their benefits are awful the working conditions are deplorable," Andrews said. "Yes, you have a job offer, but your pay is cut over half and your benefits are cut in half and you have no more pension."
Dawson said those conditions would make tough for him to make ends meet.
"Less pay, no security, benefits and you work at their mercy," Dawson said.
Chandler said AT&T is making fair offers.
"The jobs available are good union jobs. They pay competitive salaries and offer competitive benefits."
Copyright 2012, WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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