President Donald Trump took full credit for AT&T’s recent announcement that it was awarding bonuses of $1,000 to 200,000 employees in the wake of the Republican tax overhaul, telling reporters last week: “This just came out. … AT&T plans to increase U.S. capital spending $1 billion and provide $1,000 special bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. employees, and that’s because of what we did.”
“That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good,” he added.
A short time after Trump’s victory lap, AT&T announced it was laying off more than a thousand workers starting early next year.
Across the Midwest, an estimated 600 workers were notified they were being laid off by the company on December 16.
The telecommunications giant said in a statement that most of the affected workers are from its landline and other legacy service sectors.
Technology improvements are driving higher efficiencies, and there are some areas where demand for our legacy services continues to decline, and we’re adjusting our workforce in some of those areas as we continue to align our workforce with the changing needs of the business. Many of the affected employees have a job offer guarantee that ensures they’ll be offered another job with the company, and we’ll work to find other jobs for as many of them as possible.
Trump remained silent after news of the layoffs.
“How can you lay people off and then give them $1,000 and say that there’s going to be more jobs available?,” said Joseph Blanco, president of Local 6360 Communication Workers of America Union. “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.
The announcement came days after the New York Post reported that the company “pink-slipped more than 700 DirecTV home installers.”
On Friday, the Post also reported that AT&T has recently laid off “215 high-skilled technician jobs in nine Southern states” and plans to fire nearly 700 workers in Texas and Missouri beginning in February.