The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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US payroll cut, India job boost on AT&T menu

Washington, Nov. 19 (PTI): AT&T Wireless Services Inc, the American telecom major, is planning to lay off more than 10 per cent of its 30,000 workers over the next year and is discussing outsourcing arrangements with companies that employ people in India and elsewhere overseas.

While major outsourcing deals have not been finalised and could fall through, requests for proposals have been issued and AT&T Wireless is negotiating with several prospective partners, the Wall Street Journal reported today quoting “people familiar with the situation”.

It is considering laying off more than 3,000 people during the next year, possibly beginning late in the first quarter, largely in customer service and information technology.

The company, based in Redmond, Washington, has been looking internally for employees keen on an India stint to help train workers of whatever company is chosen to handle customer support functions.

AT&T has been discussing the plans with Convergys Corp, a Cincinnati outsourcing firm that already handles some work for AT&T Wireless and has centres worldwide, including sizable operations in India. It has also talked to Bangalore-based Wipro that formerly employed AT&T Wireless executive vice-president and chief information officer Christopher F. Corrado.

The company is also in discussions with Hewlett-Packard about outsourcing desktop-support work, which would entail 200-250 layoffs. Some of those workers could be rehired by Hewlett-Packard.

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