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AT&T Workers Bracing for More Job Cuts

The carrier continues to say it's hiring in "key growth areas."

Edward Gately

January 10, 2019

2 Min Read
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AT&T reportedly is gearing up for more layoffs days after the Communications Workers of America (CWA) criticized the telco for cutting more than 10,000 jobs last year.

AT&T leadership is planning what it’s calling a “geographic rationalization” and employment “surplus” reduction that will consolidate some aspects of AT&T operations in 10 major operational hubs, according to a Motherboard report,

The states targeted for layoffs will include New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington state, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, as well as Washington, D.C.

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AT&T’s Jim Greer

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump enabled AT&T to report a $19 billion quarterly profit in fourth-quarter 2017.

AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said the telco is hiring to “meet the needs of the growth areas of our business.”

You can keep up with the Channel Partners telecom and IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and how the channel is impacted.

“In fact, we hired more than 20,000 new employees last year and more than 17,000 the year before,” he said. “In cases where we do have to adjust our workforce, we take steps to lessen the effect on employees.”

AT&T likes to talk about how many people they’ve hired, but hiring doesn’t mean new jobs, said Chris Shelton, CWA president.

“In fact, AT&T is outsourcing and offshoring work and eliminating good-paying, family-supporting jobs in communities across America that need them,” he said. “This week’s news that even more layoffs are coming at AT&T is a blow to workers who’ve contributed to the company’s success, and yet another example of the company’s broken promises following the tax bill.”

Technology improvements are driving higher efficiencies and “demand for our legacy services continues to decline,” according to AT&T. As a result, “we must sometimes adjust our workforce. It’s not always easy, but like any business we must work consistently to ensure our workforce is aligned with the needs of our customers,” the carrier said.

Last month, AT&T announced the closure of three call centers in Indianapolis; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Appleton, Wisconsin, as part of another round of layoffs across the Midwest. While some employees at the three call centers may be able to relocate to the region’s two remaining centers in Dayton, Ohio, and Southfield, Michigan, many workers will be forced to leave the company, according to the CWA.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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