With AT&T's CEO having just proclaimed the addition of 7,000 new jobs tied to Republican-led corporate tax breaks and the Christmas holiday just days away, the company has confirmed the layoffs of some 700 DirecTV installers.
The cuts, first reported on by the New York Post, affect regions across DirecTV’s national footprint.
“We’re adding people in many areas where we’re seeing increased customer demand for products and services, and we’re adjusting our workforce in some other areas as we continue to align our workforce with the changing needs of the business. This includes some premises technicians jobs,” an AT&T spokesman told Fierce in an email this morning.
”We’ll work to find other AT&T jobs for as many affected employees as possible and hope that many will stay with us,” the statement added. “We adjust our workforce based on changing market dynamics, which vary from region to region. In some regions we are hiring these same resources and many of the affected employees have the opportunity to transfer to those locations. Those who are unable to find another job with the company will receive severance benefits."
AT&T also noted that it “still have thousands more premises technicians than we did two years ago.”
Call it an efficient reorganization of resources, but the optics and timing do not appear optimal. For one, it appears the workers were just notified last week of their job losses. “Merry Christmas, here’s your pink slip,” said one laid-off worker to the Post.
Meanwhile, CEO Randall Stephenson has been arguably the telecom industry’s loudest proponent of a Republican corporate tax rollback that can, at best—from the perspective of public reaction—be described as polarizing.
“If you saw tax rates move to 20-25%, we know what we would do. We would step up our investment rate,” Stephenson told investors earlier this year.