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June 16, 2020
A new round of AT&T job cuts reportedly will displace over 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks.
That’s according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA). It also said AT&T plans to permanently close more than 250 AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores, affecting 1,300 retail jobs.
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.
CWA’s Chris Shelton
“CWA and AT&T have been working together to protect worker and customer health and safety, and to provide premium pay for essential workers,” said Chris Shelton, CWA president. “The company showed an interest in investing in its workers and its network by canceling planned stock buybacks. AT&T could help lead the country toward recovery by partnering with its workforce to build next-generation networks. Instead, the company is adding to the pain of the recession already underway.”
In March, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson described the COVID-19 pandemic as “a time of war” during an interview on CNN. He also said “everybody needs to step up and do their part, in terms of how we help the general population and the general public.”
“If we are in a war to keep our economy going during this crisis, why is AT&T dismissing the troops?” Shelton responded.
AT&T sent us the following statement:
“These actions align with our focus on growth areas along with lower customer demand for some legacy products and the economic impact and changed customer behaviors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, there will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees, consistent with our previously announced transformation initiative. Additionally, we’ll be eliminating more non-payroll workers – the vast majority of which are outside the United States – than we are managers or union-represented employees. Reducing our workforce is a difficult decision that we don’t take lightly. For employees who are leaving as part of these changes, we’re offering severance pay and company-provided health care coverage for up to six months for eligible employees.”
With more customers shopping online, AT&T said it’s closing some retail stores to reflect customers’ shopping practices. While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the pandemic, it said.
Most of the retail employees will receive a guaranteed offer of another position with the company.
These latest layoffs come after AT&T began 2020 with a fresh round of job cuts. According to Axios, AT&T let thousands of employees go after training their own foreign replacements. Many of the workers were with AT&T for more than 10 years.
“I want to know where these jobs are going,” said Joe Snyder, president of CWA Local 4302 and AT&T technician in Akron, Ohio. “From where we sit, it looks like AT&T is pushing the work to low-paid contractors who do not have the same training, experience and commitment as CWA members. The money they are saving goes into the pockets of wealthy shareholders looking for short-term profits instead of staying here in our communities. AT&T said they were going to step up for their employees and their customers.”
Snyder called it “just another broken promise.”
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