AUSTIN, Tex.—The Communications Workers of America filed a lawsuit in federal court Jan. 2 demanding that AT&T reinstate 152 workers scheduled to be laid off Jan. 4. “Despite its claim that a corporate tax cut would create thousands of middle-class jobs in its industry, AT&T recently announced that hundreds of workers in the Southwest would be declared ‘surplus’ and subject to layoff,” CWA vice president Claude Cummings said in a statement. “We know that AT&T is using contract employees to do installation work while AT&T premises technicians, who are qualified and do the same work, will be jobless in just a few days.” The 152 workers targeted are premises technicians in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, including 50 in Austin and the nearby town of Bastrop, and 40 in Kansas City. The lawsuit alleges that the layoffs violate the collective-bargaining agreement covering 20,000 workers, and that their timing—the company notified workers 11 days before Christmas—“was an extraordinary act of corporate cruelty.” It also argues that the layoffs combined with hiring contract workers are part of a plan to weaken the union. Another 561 layoffs are planned for mid-February.