Comcast quietly laid off around 500 door-to-door sales workers just before the holidays.
The cable company confirmed the layoffs after The Philadelphia Inquirer and several other publications spoke to a Florida individual identifying themselves as one of the axed employees, unwilling to disclose their ID because of a nondisclosure agreement tied to severance pay.
The publications also obtained documents suggesting sales managers, supervisors and direct sales workers in Chicago, Florida and other parts of Comcast’s Central region, mostly in the Midwest and Southeastern U.S., were terminated around Dec. 15.
“The Central Division is creating a new territory-based sales model that will connect more closely with residential prospects and customers in their communities,” Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Moyer told The Inquirer. “By giving highly trained sales professionals direct responsibility for entire neighborhoods, we can provide a better experience for those who are interested in our services, during and after the sale.”
Moyer said the terminated workers were offered several months of additional health care and severance pay.
The direct sales workers, who made sales calls to as many as 70 residences a day, were paid on primarily commission-based salaries, which ranged from $50,000 to $100,000. There were reportedly rampant rumors of a restructuring in the works, but the fired workers were said to have reacted with shock and awe when they were called into a Southeastern U.S. meeting in mid-December and let go.
The unannounced layoffs came almost simultaneously as Comcast loudly trumpeted the payment of $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 “eligible frontline and non-executive employees,” a decision tied to passage of a Republican-backed bill to reduce the corporate tax rate to 21%.
Moyer said the terminated employees would also be eligible for that bonus.