New York, NY – AT&T plans to cut over 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks. In addition, the company plans to permanently shutter over 250 AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores, impacting 1,300 retail jobs.
Last year, controversial vulture hedge fund Elliott Management purchased a small stake in AT&T in order to push the company to extract profits by eliminating jobs, outsourcing work, and divesting critical assets and to drive up the share price through stock buybacks.
At the same time Elliot Management asked for cuts and increased dividends, AT&T and other corporations failed to follow through on their promises to use tax windfalls from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that went into effect in 2018. This national tax program was designed to create jobs, raise wages and increase investment in infrastructure.
The AT&T cuts come as Americans have become more dependent than ever on reliable communications services. The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the need for more, safer and better communication networks throughout the country. Presently there is still significant gaps in broadband availability, especially in rural areas.
While AT&T had been planning cuts last month, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson described the COVID-19 pandemic as “a time of war,” during an interview on CNN. Stephenson went on to say, “Everybody needs to step up and do their part, in terms of how we help the general population and the general public.”