Will hire about 2,000 of its own employees to handle tech support work that had been done by outside contractors.
The U.S. phone giant said it will use in-house employees to assist customers with their self-installation of DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband access. The support staff will also answer other general questions about Internet or DSL service, e-mail, registration and browsers.
The change follows an agreement between AT&T and the Communications Workers of America union. The CWA negotiated the wage rates, benefits and duties associated with the jobs, which were formerly contracted out to third parties both in the U.S. and overseas, the union said.
The 2,000 new AT&T employees should be added to the payroll by the end of 2008, the carrier said. The company is still deciding on where to locate the call centers.
This is the second round of jobs that CWA has secured with AT&T. Earlier this month, both entities announced that the company would bring back about 800 installation technicians to work on U-verse, AT&T's new TV service.