Layoffs Coming for Thousands of AT&T Employees


**Editor’s Note: Click here for the latest edition of the Channel Partners telecom and IT layoff tracker.**

AT&T says it will undergo a year of growth and investment following a year of innovation and legislative wins, but layoffs are part of the plan.

The Indy Star writes that the company is also planning to lay off thousands of workers. The newspaper cites Communications Workers of America (CWA), one of the main unions associated with the company. The CWA says many of AT&T’s U-verse ad DirecTV technicians will lose their jobs.

AT&T and Comcast both celebrated the end of the year by announcing holiday bonuses. AT&T handed some 200,000 employees an extra $1,000, citing the recent tax-reform law. CEO Randall Stephenson said AT&T would invest an additional $1 billion in the U.S following the successfully signed legislation.

AT&T's Randall Stephenson

AT&T’s Randall Stephenson

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” Stephenson said. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

AT&T and other service providers say they also anticipate technological innovation as a result of net neutrality’s repeal. But layoffs are also in store for 2018.

AT&T says it will not disclose the locations or numbers associated with the cuts, but acknowledged that there will be some turnover. Spokesman Marty Richter told Channel Partners that the layoffs are coming as a result of increased hiring in other areas.

“We’re adding people in many parts of our business that are experiencing higher customer demand. At the same time, technology improvements are driving higher efficiencies and there are some areas where demand for our legacy services continues to decline, and we’re adjusting our workforce in some of those areas,” the carrier said.

Richter says that many of the laid-off employees will receive another job within AT&T. Other employees have the opportunity to transfer to another location.

“We’ll work to find other AT&T jobs for as many affected employees as possible. Regarding premises technicians, we adjust the workforce based on changing market dynamics, which vary from region to region,” Richter said. “In some regions we are hiring these same resources and these employees have the opportunity to transfer to those locations. It’s important to note that we still have thousands more premises technicians than we did two years ago.”

AT&T and CWA signed a long-awaited contract for more than 20,000 employees last month.

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One comment

  1. alan January 4, 2018 @ 12:07 pm

    I think you have to be careful to differentiate between a one-time bonus and a ‘raise’. Bonuses are nice but they are not a permanent change in compensation and they have different tax implication for the employee (they may be taxed at a higher rate) and for the company (look carefully to determine whether both companies used the bonuses to reduce their in-year tax exposure). It’s important to understand the context- did the companies effectively save money with these bonuses?

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