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CWA TO PROTEST DEPLOYMENT OF AT&T VOICE 'ROBOTS'; TACOMA OFFICE SLATED FOR OPERATOR LAYOFFS

 CWA TO PROTEST DEPLOYMENT OF AT&T VOICE 'ROBOTS';
 TACOMA OFFICE SLATED FOR OPERATOR LAYOFFS
 The Communications Workers of America will hold a demonstration against AT&T's plan to replace telephone operators with voice recognition "robot" technology, on Sunday, June 28, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the AT&T Operator Center, 747 Fawcett in Tacoma, Wash.
 Demonstrators will also protest AT&T's failure to reach an agreement on a new three-year contract with some 127,000 union- represented workers nationwide.
 AT&T will deploy its "robot" technology in Seattle/Tacoma starting today. The new voice recognition call processing technology also went into effect in Jacksonville, Fla., the week of June 15, 1992.
 The Tacoma operator services office is one of 27 nationwide that AT&T has scheduled for closing. The first wave of deployment of the technology will replace 6,000 AT&T operators with robots over the next two years. Some 120 operators in Tacoma are threatened with losing their jobs.
 CWA is negotiating a new three-year contract for 100,000 workers at AT&T. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents 27,000 AT&T workers; the two unions are bargaining jointly. The current contract expired on Saturday, May 30, 1992, and the unions and AT&T are currently in mediation.
 The fate of the operators scheduled for replacement by robots is a major sticking point in the difficult contract talks. CWA is also waging a campaign with public officials, highlight the threat that robots pose to quality service and public safety.
 CWA represents over 600,000 workers in telecommunications, printing, publishing, media, health care, and the public sector in the United States and Canada.
 CONTACT: Dick Godwin, CWA Local 7804, 206-572-7804.
 -0- 6/26/92


CO: Communications Workers of America; AT&T ST: Washington IN: TLS SU:

DC -- DC007 -- 4184 06/26/92 11:35 EDT
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Date:Jun 26, 1992
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