RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A union representing communications workers at AT&T says the telecom giant is cutting hundreds of jobs in the southeast district it represents. That includes the Carolinas.

The cuts of 911 jobs represents more than half the 1,800 layoffs being made nationally, according to the Communications Workers of America.

AT&T says it is hiring to fill other open jobs. Specifics about where cuts are being made have not been disclosed.

“It would be misleading to refer to this as ‘layoffs,‘” an AT&T spokesperson told tech news site ChannelPartners Online.

“Most affected CWA-represented employees, includ[ing] affected employees in the Midwest and Southwest, have a job offer guarantee that ensures they’ll be offered another job with the company — only those who volunteer to leave or decline a job offer will leave the company.

AT&T confirms layoffs as giant continues hiring in some job areas

“In the Southeast, affected employees can choose to participate in our Job Bank Program for up to a year, during which time they receive a severance payment, continue to receive benefits and accrue credit for their pension, and can receive priority consideration and relocation benefits (if applicable) for other job opportunities as a regular employee.”

The CWA local in a Facebook post said “AT&T has released information detailing its plans to reduce our workforce in CWA’s District 3 by 911 employees.”

And it is protesting the cuts.

“It is our Local’s belief that there is not sufficient reasoning to support this action by the Company,” the union said in a Facebook post.

“Our members have not experienced a drop of demanded work. In fact, locally, we are expecting to have an increase in our workload.”

Negotiations for a new contract begin later this month, and the CWA noted “we can only conclude that this action must be a tactic being employed by the Company to strengthen its position at the bargaining table.”

In a statement, AT&T explained the layoffs as coming due to “changes in our business and industry.”

The cuts affect technicians involved in installation and repair, said Phil Hayes in an email to the Charlotte Business Journal.