AT&T has informed employees of plans to cut another 1,800 jobs from its wireline division, AT&T employees told Ars today.
Last week, AT&T declared more than 1,800 jobs nationwide as “redundant,” meaning they are slated to be eliminated in August or September, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) told Ars.
“They’ve cut their job a lot over the past year and a half,” with cuts affecting both union and non-union jobs, CWA Communications Director Beth Allen told Ars. Under union contracts, AT&T can announce a surplus of services each quarter, he said. But even by AT&T’s standards, last week’s surplus announcement “was a pretty big number,” Allen said.
Services that are said to be “bonus” are taken out of the paycheck, the CWA says.
AT&T told Ars that most affected union employees will be able to stay at the company in other locations. An AT&T spokesperson said:
It would be misleading to refer to this as “layoffs.” Most of the affected CWA workers, including affected workers in the Midwest and Southwest, have employment insurance that ensures they will only be offered another job with the company—those who volunteer. to leave or refuse a job will leave the company. . At South East, affected workers can choose to participate in our Job Bank Scheme for one year, during which they receive severance pay; continue to receive benefits and accrue credit for their pension; and may receive special consideration and relocation benefits (if applicable) for other job opportunities as a regular employee.
But letters from AT&T to CWA said that only 27 of the 550 workers declared “surplus” in the West Division will be given benefits called “follow-up” in which they can get the same jobs in other regions .
Post-job offers are given when an employee’s specific job is combined with another position or transferred to another geographic location, AT&T said. This is different from the employment guarantee which ensures that the “extra” workers will be offered a different type of work in the company; AT&T did not say exactly how many additional workers would receive those offers.
“AT&T is putting people out of work and forcing them to make a choice — take another job, sometimes far from home, sometimes at a lower rate of pay, or leave the company,” Allen said. “I think many people will call it a job, but any way you look at it, it’s a job loss. We have agreed protections for our members, including the Job Bank in the South East, which helps to compensate the injury when jobs are removed. .”
Wireline technologies are vulnerable
The 1,800 newly announced AT&T job cuts affect wire technicians who fix customer problems, install new service, and those who work on AT&T’s cable expansion, Allen said. Four years ago, AT&T expanded its cable-to-home network to 12.5 million customer locations to meet a government mandate imposed on its purchase of DirecTV.
But AT&T is apparently slowing down cable deployments now that it has completed government-mandated manufacturing. “That’s behind us now,” AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan told FierceTelecom in an interview this month. “We will continue to invest in the sea, but we will do it based on inflation, the economy. We are not working towards any domestic goal.”
The group said AT&T could do more to expand broadband access and fix problems in AT&T’s damaged copper networks.
“We think there is a lot of work to be done on the network, both on the repair of the existing network and in building the cable out to many more places in the country. Our members are well trained and happy to do it,” Allen said.
To explain the “surplus” services, AT&T told Ars that “Nationally, we lost nearly 1.9 million cable access lines between 2016 and 2018 – a decrease of over 32 percent in just two years.”
Of course, many customers who leave AT&T live in areas where the company hasn’t upgraded from copper to fiber and they tend to pay higher prices for slower speeds. AT&T investing more in older parts of its network could help mitigate those customer losses.
“We understand the downturn in the wire business,” Allen told Ars. “But there are still many places across the country where AT&T can invest in building next-generation networks.”
“Decline in activity”
Leaked internal documents confirm most of the 1,800 planned job cuts. One AT&T bonus announcement shows that more than 900 of the surplus jobs are from the Southeast Alabama industry, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This paper attributes most of the cuts to “economic” reasons and some to “technical efficiency/efficiency.”
Separately, we have already mentioned letters from AT&T to the CWA area 6 listed about 550 job cuts in the Southwest division in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. The letters said the job cuts were made “as a result of a reduction in performance.”
There are also about 330 pending job cuts in AT&T’s Midwest division, Allen told Ars.
The 1,800 additional jobs are in addition to the 368 announced last month at AT&T’s West division, which involved some workers in Nevada and a large number in California, Allen said.
AT&T offers wireless service 21 states.
CWA also released four reports last week detailing AT&T’s wireless network problems Wisconsin, Ohio, Michiganwe had Indiana. The CWA argued that AT&T was “abandoning” rural communities in these states by allowing its land networks to fall into disrepair. The CWA has come negotiation with AT&T for new contracts in these states.
“As a result of the 20 percent reduction in work at AT&T (in Ohio), customers are experiencing poor service due to lack of plant maintenance and long waits for repairs to fix issues,” the CWA report on the AT&T network T says Ohio.
AT&T told Ars that it is investigating the specific problems raised in the reports “and will make the necessary corrections.”
AT&T cut services without government favors
AT&T in November 2017 Push for corporate tax cuts by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, including CEO Randall Stephenson said that “Every billion AT&T investment is 7,000 hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting more energy in the ground, hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.”
Federal tax cuts have been approved by Congress and President Trump and reported gave AT&T an additional $3 billion in cash in 2018. The Federal Communications Commission reregulated the broadcast industry and repealed net neutrality rules, with Chairman Ajit Pai saying the move would spur new broadcast investment.
AT&T is upgrading its nationwide wireless network from 4G to 5G, but even that massive project isn’t enough to offset reduced investment in AT&T’s copper and broadband Internet networks. AT&T’s capital expenditures are $5.2 billion in Q1 2019down from $6.1 billion in Q1 2018.
In early 2018, AT&T told investors that its full capital expenditures will be $23 billion, including an “extra” $1 billion that AT&T says will be spent because of the tax cut. In fact, AT&T’s capital expenditures ended up being 21.3 billion in the full year of 2018, down from $21.6 billion in 2017 and $22.4 billion in 2016.
“We have invested more in the US than any other public company in the last five years (2014-2018) – more than $130 billion in wireless and wireline networks, including capital investments -money and assets of wireless spectrum and services,” AT&T told Ars. today.
23,000 jobs cut since the end of 2017
As previously reported, AT&T’s financial statements show that it cut more than 23,000 jobs between December 31, 2017, and March 31, 2019. AT&T’s total workforce grew from 254,000 to 262,290 during that time, but because the telco added only 31,618 people. by acquiring Time Warner and other companies. Aside from the jobs added by the mergers, AT&T’s headcount declined by 23,328 even before last month’s and last month’s layoff announcements.
AT&T generally responded to reports of job cuts by saying it was also hiring new workers in other divisions. He still does so today, he says, “We continue to hire in areas where we are seeing increased demand for products and services. But technology is changing rapidly, and there are fewer jobs in sectors of the industry that are shrinking and facing technological changes. , like our wire business where these workers work.”
But as Allen told Ars, “we don’t see evidence of adding jobs, and when you look at the total numbers in their reports, they are down 23,000 workers from a year and a half ago. If they create the these works. , do not show where they are, they do not show in their numbers.”