Monday, March 16, 2009

at&t's union contract and strike duty

This week I'm in Phoenix for a week of computer-based training to become a consumer services rep in the event of a strike at AT&T. Way back in July, I had been contacted by AT&T to assess my willingness to work in just such an instance. Numerous forms and e-mail exchanges later, I was informed that I might be summoned for training prior to the contract expiration date of April 4th. I was only informed last Thursday that I should report to Phoenix to begin training on Monday. AT&T picks up all expenses including airfare, car rental, meals and training in addition to paying me a respectable fee for my time. At the conclusion of my training this week, I fly back home to SLC, then two weeks down the road, I'll fly to CA for instructor-led training for yet another week. The day after that training concludes, the contract expires.

I can only conclude that AT&T is anticipating a strike to go to the expense and trouble of coordinating retired AT&T personnel in a large re-training effort. In today's economy it makes one wonder if AT&T is going to dramatically (enough) reduce benefits to the extent that it will provoke a strike or if they are just that pro-active in trying to maintain business as usual should one occur regardless of the terms of the contract. Either way, it's frightening to consider the ramifications of a strike, especially in view of the fact that I would be answering customers' calls who are hoping for help.

1 comment:

Stace said...

Good luck with all that! Just let your charm come through if your training has not prepared you enough with those AT&T customers. Phone customers are the worst, I have to say.... but only because the phone companies have made them to be so edgy.