December 21, 2017
Shortly after the passage of the bill that provides massive tax cuts for corporations in the United States, AT&T announced its plans to distribute bonuses to its employees. On the surface that is great news for employees whose careers will continue with AT&T throughout 2018. Many are appreciative, as they should be. However, after massive layoffs were announced across the country just days before the Holidays, the company’s gift reeks of hypocrisy.
The bonus money will have little to no effect for the 110 IBEW Local Union 21 members who are losing their jobs in the coming months. We see the writing on the wall and have a feeling the recent surplus announcement will not be the last one to affect our members in the coming year. After our moratorium on layoffs expires in March 2018, more hard working employees may see their lives turned upside down.
The leadership of IBEW Local Union 21 had no prior knowledge of the announcement AT&T made yesterday. IBEW 21 members are expressing their gratitude for the gesture. But they would rather have job security and see the jobs of their 110 Sisters and Brothers whose careers will be terminated saved. Immediately after AT&T’s CEO made the proclamation, our leaders contacted upper management requesting that the surplus be stopped and that we sit down to discuss the company’s plans. AT&T refused and jobs will be lost!
While the ink isn’t dry on the Government’s tax bill and many still don’t know what is actually in the bill; it was touted as a massive tax cutting measure that would create jobs. According to a recent Yahoo Finance article: in an event hosted by The Economic Club of New York, CEO Randall Stephenson said in part, “If tax reform passes the company will spend “at least” $1 billion in capital expenditure, and be able to create an estimated 7,000 hard hat 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 bill passed. Now is the period for historic job creation. It is not the time to destroy the lives of our families whom the bill was intended to help. We ask once again that AT&T stop the announced job losses and work with us in partnership to secure the future of all IBEW - AT&T employees.
We are IBEW Union members. We understand an injury to one is an injury to all. We are willing to do what it takes to protect the livelihoods of those most at risk. By working together with AT&T’s highest levels of management we can make AT&T an even greater corporation.