Congress asks AT&T Where are the Jobs?
25 members of Congress want to if AT&T's will meet their promise to use the Trump tax cuts to create jobs as strike looms
What is AT&T doing with its massive profits from the Republican corporate tax cut bill? That's the question members of Congress are now asking.
Last week, Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), and 23 colleagues sent a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson calling on the company to disclose plans for their profits from the tax bill – in particular on job growth.
In addition, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) led a group of U.S. Senators urging AT&T to settle on a fair contract with workers that protects and create jobs – as was promised by AT&T before the tax bill passed.
"Since January 2016, AT&T alone has laid off thousands of call center workers and closed dozens of U.S. call centers," Brown's letter says. "We urge you to continue negotiating in good faith until an agreement is reached, and we urge you to include commitments in the contract that improve job security for your highly competitive workforce and reverse the trend of call center offshoring in our states."
Before the tax bill passed, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson promised that every $1 billion in tax savings would create "7,000 good jobs for the middle class." Instead, ongoing layoffs have compounded workers' concerns about the company's practice of shifting work to low-wage overseas contractors
"The time is now for AT&T to follow through on its tax bill promises to create good, family-supporting U.S. jobs and invest in workers," said CWA District 4 Vice President Linda L. Hinton. "While AT&T stonewalls workers at the bargaining table over offshoring and outsourcing, the company is pulling in billions in profits from the tax bills. AT&T workers will not give up on their fight against layoffs, cuts, and closures."
Before the Republican tax bill passed, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson promised that every $1 billion in tax savings would create “7,000 good jobs for the middle class.” Instead, ongoing layoffs have compounded workers’ concerns about the company’s practice of shifting work to low-wage overseas contractors, which many believe is hurting the quality of service and damaging AT&T’s brand. The company’s touted investment of just $1 billion on capital projects and one-time $1,000 bonuses to employees is equivalent to just 7% of its expected annual profit from the cuts. Overall jobs numbers at AT&T are down 29,000 from two years ago.
A recent report from CWA found that AT&T has closed 44 call centers and eliminated 16,000 call center jobs in the last seven years. The report reveals the devastating impact of recent call center closures across the Midwest, an area that has been particularly hard hit by closures and layoffs. Meanwhile, the company’s latest quarterly earnings report reveals $4.7 billion in profits and indicates that AT&T is spending more than ever on dividends and buybacks.
The letters and full list of signatories can be found here: