U.S. telecom giant AT&T has agreed to bring more than 3,000 outsourced jobs back home in a settlement with Communications Workers of America (CWA). Most of the positions are call center jobs outsourced to countries like Mexico and the Philippines.
AT&T is the second major U.S. firm cutting staff abroad after Ford Motors cancelled its plan to build a manufacturing plant in Mexico in January.
Some analysts say the telecom giant conceded as part of a broader aim of winning federal regulatory approval for its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner.
CWA, a labor union vociferously backing President Donald Trump’s plan to punish companies sending jobs overseas, has long been angry with AT&T. In a statement issued barely weeks ago, it alleged that the telecom firm slashed 8,000 jobs since 2011 and offshored thousands of jobs to Mexico, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic.
In the agreement, yet to be ratified by the union members, AT&T has also promised to increase wages for 20,000 workers in five southern states, in addition to providing parental leave and healthcare benefits.
The employees covered by the contract are call center workers, technicians who install U-verse, and others who work in AT&T’s wired cable, internet, and telephone businesses.
The agreement does comply with President Trump’s “buy American and hire American” call issued during his inaugural address to the nation, but the telecom giant looks stuck in a prolonged battle with the labor union.
More than 20,000 U.S. employees of AT&T are currently working with expired contracts, and the CWA is calling for the renewal of these contracts.
According to reports, AT&T hired nearly 20,000 people last year, and it currently has 4,200 union-represented job openings.