Employees are calling out AT&T for what they say are lost jobs amid fat profits. Communication Workers of America members say AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson promised to spend at least $1 billion on capital projects that would create 7,000 jobs if the Republican tax plan passed, reports the Detroit News. However, a CWA analysis says the company has eliminated more than 7,000 jobs nationwide since January, when the plan went into effect. Four call centers closed this year, bringing the total over seven years to 44, the Guardian reports, noting much of the work is being outsourced to countries like India and Mexico, where workers can earn less than $2 an hour.
At the same time, AT&T appears to be doing just fine. The company reported $10 billion in profit in the first six months of the year, per the Guardian, and spent $419 million on stock buybacks in the second quarter, bringing its total spent in that category to roughly $16.5 billion since 2013. "This is not a poor company," says an employee at a Wisconsin call center that she says is down to 30 employees from 500 a decade ago. "We've made the company extremely profitable" but "they're liquidating us." AT&T acknowledges "there are some areas where demand for our legacy services continues to decline." Claiming it continues to invest in middle-class careers, however, the company says it's hired 8,000 US workers this year, and 87,000 over three years. (Read more AT&T stories.)