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AT&T promised 7,000 new jobs to get tax break—it reduce 23,000 jobs as an alternative

Enlarge / AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on the World Financial Discussion board (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.Getty Photographs | Bloomberg

AT&T has reduce greater than 23,000 jobs since receiving an enormous tax reduce on the finish of 2017, regardless of lobbying closely for the tax reduce by claiming that it will create 1000’s of jobs.
AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the company tax reduce by promising to speculate a further $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that “each billion {dollars} AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These usually are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of individuals placing fiber in floor, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per yr.”
The company tax reduce was subsequently handed by Congress and signed into regulation by President Trump on December 22, 2017. The tax reduce reportedly gave AT&T an additional $three billion in money in 2018.
However AT&T reduce capital spending and saved laying individuals off after the tax reduce. A union evaluation of AT&T’s publicly out there monetary statements “reveals the telecom firm eradicated 23,328 jobs for the reason that Tax Reduce and Jobs Act handed in late 2017, together with almost 6,000 within the first quarter of 2019,” the Communications Staff of America (CWA) stated yesterday.
AT&T’s complete employment was 254,000 as of December 31, 2017 and rose to 262,290 by March 31, 2019. However AT&T’s total workforce elevated solely due to its acquisition of Time Warner Inc. and two smaller firms, which collectively added 31,618 staff throughout 2018, in keeping with an AT&T proxy assertion cited within the CWA report.
Excluding staff gained through mergers, AT&T’s workforce dropped from 254,000 to 230,672, a reduce of 23,328 jobs, the CWA report factors out. These numbers are for AT&T’s international workforce, however the overwhelming majority of its staff are within the US. AT&T reported having 44,892 non-US staff as of October 1, 2018.
The latest layoffs affected 368 union technicians in California, the CWA stated final week.
AT&T additionally reduce greater than 10,000 jobs annually in 2016 and 2017. AT&T had 281,450 staff as of December 31, 2015, 268,540 as of December 31, 2016, and 254,000 by the tip of 2017.
AT&T slashed capital spending, too
“AT&T’s annual report additionally reveals the corporate boosted govt pay and means that after refunds, it paid no money earnings taxes in 2018 and slashed capital investments by $1.four billion,” the CWA wrote.
AT&T reported $21.6 billion in capital bills in 2017 and $21.three billion in 2018, a reduce of $300 million. CWA informed Ars that the reduce is $1.four billion when “excluding federal authorities reimbursements for the development of FirstNet,” AT&T’s government-funded public security community.
AT&T capital spending is already down greater than $900 million this yr, because the telco reported Q1 2019 capital expenditures of $5.18 billion, down from $6.12 billion in Q2 2018.
“What AT&T is doing to hardworking individuals throughout America is disgraceful,” CWA President Chris Shelton stated within the union announcement. “Congress wants to analyze AT&T to learn the way it’s utilizing its tax windfall for the reason that firm’s personal publicly out there information already elevate critical alarm bells. AT&T acquired its tax reduce. The place are the roles?”
AT&T’s precise capital spending of $21.three billion in 2018 is way in need of what AT&T informed traders to count on at the start of 2018, when it stated that full-year capital spending would “method” $25 billion and be “$23 billion internet of anticipated FirstNet reimbursements.”
AT&T cuts jobs in “declining” enterprise items
When contacted by Ars, AT&T did not deny any of the CWA’s findings about job cuts. “We proceed to rent in areas the place we’re seeing rising demand for services and products, however know-how is altering quickly, and that impacts hiring and employment,” AT&T informed Ars. “There are fewer jobs in components of the enterprise which might be declining and going through know-how shifts.”
AT&T additionally stated that it “not too long ago opened new 500-seat name facilities in Chicago; Houston; Dawn, Fla.; and Mesa, Ariz. and that “[m]ost of the roles at these name facilities can be crammed by union-represented staff.”
AT&T stated it takes a number of steps to maintain current staff regardless of decreasing its total workforce. AT&T stated:
We work very arduous to maintain staff by way of these transitions: by way of regular attrition when potential, follow-the-work provides (steadily with a relocation allowance), inside job-matching packages, and voluntary severance provides.
Many union-represented staff have a job supply assure that ensures they’re provided one other job with the corporate if their present job is eradicated.
Once we wrote about AT&T layoffs in January this yr, AT&T informed Ars that “we employed greater than 20,000 new staff final yr and greater than 17,000 the yr earlier than.” However the firm’s monetary statements make it clear that new hirings fell far in need of job cuts.
“Whereas AT&T responds to criticism of its large job cuts with boasts about hiring, hiring to deal with turnover shouldn’t be the identical as job creation,” the CWA stated yesterday.