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AT&T lays off hundreds of employees after applauding tax-cut savings
AT&T will lay off around 600 employees in five states, effective January 4. A company statement said that the company is adapting to declining work demands and technology innovations.
By Rick Docksai
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Around 600 AT&T employees are getting the pink slip just days before Christmas. The company announced mass layoffs at its offices in Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio effective January 4. The announcement also came despite AT&T's other recent announcement that it will use its savings under the recently approved tax cut to boost spending on workforce development and give its employees bonuses.

AT&T first issued a notice of the impending layoffs December 16. The company declared five days later that it will give out $1,000 bonuses to more than 200,000 of its workers and invest $1 billion in its operations in 2018. It was one of five large businesses who promised this week to use their tax savings to increase spending on their workforces.

Local 6360 Communication Workers of America Union held a meeting in Detroit on Thursday to offer help and resources to the displaced workers in their city. Union officials said that the laid-off workers, who include indoor and outdoor technicians and call-center employees, find the layoffs to be a "slap in the face" given that they coincide with the announcement of employee bonuses.

"How can you lay people off and then give them $1,000 and say that there's going to be more jobs available? I wish someone could tell me how that's possible because I have to explain that to my members, and right now at this time of year, this is a difficult pill to swallow," said Joseph Blanco, union president.

AT&T released a statement saying that it was laying off some employees to increase efficiency and adjust to "decreasing work volume" as technology improvements lead to declining work demand in some areas.