Costa Outraged at AT&T Call Center Closure

Merced, CA- Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) expressed extreme frustration over AT&T’s announced closure of the company’s two call centers at the Castle Commerce Center in Atwater. The closure will result in the loss of 400 jobs, the largest private sector layoff in Merced County in more than two decades.    
“These jobs are critical to the hardworking families of Merced County and their loss will have a negative economic impact throughout the county,” said Rep. Costa.  “I am personally reaching out to AT&T Assistant Vice President Jack Wright, urging him to reconsider the closure of these call centers. Those at AT&T responsible for this decision should sit down with representatives of Merced County to determine what alternatives are available to allow these call centers to remain open.”
On Friday AT&T announced to its employees that the call centers would be closing by the end of August. Employees have until July 7, 2014 to consider relocating to another call center in Southern California, Washington, Iowa, or Colorado.  Those who would consider relocating are being offered $5,000. Employees would have less than two months to find new housing, change their children’s schools, sell and ship their personal items, and travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to their new place of employment.  Employees would be expected to report to the new location by August 26, 2014. 
“It is completely unacceptable that AT&T is giving its employees, some of whom have worked there for more than a decade, 10 days to either uproot their lives or lose their jobs,” Costa went on to say. “At the very least an extended timeline and an increased compensation package should be provided to these displaced employees.”