AT&T promised lots of good jobs if taxes were cut. Instead, it has shed tens of thousands.
“AT&T has cut more than 23,000 jobs since receiving a big tax cut at the end of 2017, despite lobbying heavily for the tax cut by claiming that it would create thousands of jobs.
AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that ‘every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.’
The corporate tax cut was subsequently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017. The tax cut reportedly gave AT&T an extra $3 billion in cash in 2018.
But AT&T cut capital spending and kept laying people off after the tax cut. A union analysis of AT&T’s publicly available financial statements “shows the telecom company eliminated 23,328 jobs since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed in late 2017, including nearly 6,000 in the first quarter of 2019,” the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said yesterday.
AT&T’s total employment was 254,000 as of December 31, 2017 and rose to 262,290 by March 31, 2019. But AT&T’s overall workforce increased only because of its acquisition of Time Warner Inc. and two smaller companies, which together added 31,618 employees during 2018, according to an AT&T proxy statement cited in the CWA report.
Excluding employees gained via mergers, AT&T’s workforce dropped from 254,000 to 230,672, a cut of 23,328 jobs, the CWA report points out. These numbers are for AT&T’s global workforce, but the vast majority of its employees are in the US. AT&T reported having 44,892 non-US employees as of October 1, 2018.
The most recent layoffs affected 368 union technicians in California, the CWA said last week.
AT&T also cut more than 10,000 jobs each year in 2016 and 2017. AT&T had 281,450 employees as of December 31, 2015, 268,540 as of December 31, 2016, and 254,000 by the end of 2017.”
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