AT&T Keeps On Firing Employees Despite Claims The Trump Tax Cut Would Boost Job Growth

from the not-the-droids-you're-looking-for dept

It seems like only yesterday that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was promising on live TV that if Trump followed through on his tax cuts, the company would dramatically boost investment, in the process creating thousands of new jobs. Not "entry-level jobs," mind you, but at least "7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in the ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year." Each $1 billion in new investment, AT&T insisted, would result in 7,000 such jobs. "Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages," Stephenson said.

We've pointed out several times how these promises meant absolutely nothing, but AT&T itself keeps driving the point home.

AT&T's earnings released last week showed that the company has eliminated 37,818 jobs since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (which dropped AT&T's overall tax rate to 21% providing the company an estimated $46 billion in savings) was cheerily passed by Congress just three or so years ago:

"The Communications Workers of America, the telecom sector’s biggest union, says AT&T’s promised jobs never arrived either. Union officials today complained that AT&T earnings show the company has laid off 37,818 employees worldwide since the tax cut was passed in 2018, with 4,040 pink slips sent out to employees worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone."

Again that promised network investment never occurred either. AT&T's fourth quarter CAPEX was the lowest in a decade, and this year AT&T's expected to trim its overall investment somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion. The money? It went into executive pockets, investor pockets, and the company's massive debt load created by mindless merger mania.

We've noted a few times that making outlandish promises, grabbing billions in government favors (merger approval, tax breaks, regulatory help, whatever), then delivering jack shit is something AT&T and other telecom giants have been doing for the better part of a generation without no penalty whatsoever. None.

The same promises were made by AT&T and its primary lobbying arm (US Telecom) ahead of the net neutrality repeal. There too, AT&T promised job growth and massive new investment into broadband networks in exchange for the FCC basically self immolating its consumer protection authority. But when it came time to collect on said promises, as usual, they were nowhere to be found. The same head fake bait and switch also occurred ahead of AT&T's merger with Time Warner, which was also supposed to deliver investment, competition, and "synergies" that AT&T's earnings report shows never actually arrived.

Despite the evidence here being indisputable, somehow we never learn our lesson, and AT&T never faces any meaningful penalty. Worse, the folks that often pride themselves on standing up to government spending (like grumbling about some small town deciding to build its own broadband network) are routinely nowhere to be found when it comes time to discuss what's arguably one of the biggest, long running cons in American history.

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Filed Under: donald trump, jobs, tax cuts
Companies: at&t


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 6:30am

    You know what the difference between this and a Ponzi scheme is?

    Bernie Madoff would have at least given his victims some of the promised "profits" before trying to convince them to invest more money with him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 6:41am

    without no penalty... it hurts to read sentences like this.

    I think you meant... with no penalty

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 6:42am

    When a company down size it eliminates jobs.
    Thus a notice of eliminating jobs is a notice that the company is downsizing.

    A company down sizes when production is greater than demand.
    That is demand for a company's product is less today than is was yesterday.

    AT&T owns CNN.
    Who in their right mind would watch CNN?
    Thus, downsizing is a reflection of the demand for the bull out of CNN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      Did they know about this future downsizing when they made all those promises about adding many new good paying jobs?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      Thus, downsizing is a reflection of the demand for the bull out of CNN.

      ^^^ Another idiot who thinks that the only reason not to invest in network infrastructure is because of CNN.

      That's why the rubes will continue to be the uneducated morons that they are. There's only so much news you can ingest via a 56k modem connection.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Talmyr, 6 Feb 2020 @ 5:40am

      Re:

      No-one in a "right" mind maybe, because they are apparently allergic to reality, but everyone else with a "correct" mind might.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:09am

    Theoretical Job Growth

    The State Actors like At&T will get away with whatever they want so long as they keep giving our government access to copy the backbone data as they have been doing. It is a hidden benefit of this illegal partnership. The people they are spying on is us, the very ones who are supposed to have protections like the 4th amendment.

    The idea of destroying our rights to protect them is a lie and always will be.

    They have been doing this long enough that they now have blackmail on the people in power who are controlling their purse strings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:43am

      Re: Theoretical Job Growth

      The term state actor is sometimes used when the word corruption might be more accurate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      steell (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 9:48am

      Re: Theoretical Job Growth

      In United States law, a state actor is a person who is acting on behalf of a governmental body, and is therefore subject to regulation under the United States Bill of Rights, including the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which prohibit the federal and state governments from violating certain rights and freedoms.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=State+Actor&oq=State+Actor&aqs=chrome..69i57&s ourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: Theoretical Job Growth

        "which prohibit the federal and state governments from violating certain rights and freedoms"

        In theory

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 2:26am

      Re: Theoretical Job Growth

      "The State Actors like At&T will get away with whatever they want so long as they keep giving our government access to copy the backbone data as they have been doing. It is a hidden benefit of this illegal partnership. "

      As Snowden showed there's nothing illegal about that, nor is it a partnership as such.

      It's just some alphabet soup agencies walking into the offices of AT&T and Verizon and telling them to let that agency have a root account on each of their servers or else. And then sign an NDA, of course. If you own servers which enough citizens utilize you will receive such a visit yourself.

      This part if fairly clear-cut. It's not a "trade" nor is it voluntary. It's just plain old exercise of eminent domain. If you refuse you may go to jail or see your servers seized under some boilerplate antiterrorism paragraph or other.

      And the part about AT&T getting government benefits is self-explanatory. They've bribed a number of senators and congressmen by funding their campaigns and expect backscratching in return.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Koby (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:09am

    Silver Lining

    My hope is that if AT&T keeps shrinking, losing employees, losing customers, and losing money, then eventually it's going to open the door for someone else to come in and compete. Although the customers and rank-and-file employees will, of course, suffer first, I can't say that I'm unhappy about a bad company moving towards the exit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Silver Lining

      I'm not sure ATT end will open any doors for competition. Instead another giant corp will just absorb its assets and keep being assholes. Natural monopolies paired with crony capitalism you know.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 5 Feb 2020 @ 9:37am

    Synergies never arrived?

    The same head fake bait and switch also occurred ahead of AT&T's merger with Time Warner, which was also supposed to deliver investment, competition, and "synergies" that AT&T's earnings report shows never actually arrived.

    I think you are being unfair. Synergies means being able to do the same kind of job with fewer people. Firing 37,818 people is perfectly consistent with that, even when taking into account that the decrease in competition means that you can do a worse job (thus requiring fewer people and with worse work conditions) without much of a penalty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    patwarnock (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 11:09am

    great for the stockholders, and,

    the 37,818 former employees can just bend over

    wonder if AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will get the presidential medal of freedom

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      teka, 5 Feb 2020 @ 11:43am

      Re: great for the stockholders, and,

      My desk is a little wobbly. Can I get a presidential medal of freedom to wedge under the leg? THat kind of use would redeem it a little, compared to what a White House resident might do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: great for the stockholders, and,

        Soon you will also be able to purchase your very own presidential medal of freedom, this one time offer includes a really authenticated piece of paper and stuff. Act now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 4:47pm

    Wow. It's almost like Richard Bennett was lying to everyone's faces or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 2:28am

      Re:

      " It's almost like Richard Bennett was lying to everyone's faces or something."

      Someone who is being conspicuously absent from this thread so far despite his recent...interest...in such matters.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 5:08am

    The stock holders are happier, and isn't that all that matters?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Poppa58, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:27pm

    Walt Disney had fired a lot of workers and they had to train the lesser paid, if that's what's happening. My cell bill kept going up and I had to quit and go with another company.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mirrian, 1 Oct 2020 @ 8:42am

    I don’t recommend you to follow job portals for footballs players, not like they are not good but prefer using individual company sites. That why I use https://433agent.com/market . I recommend to everyone!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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