AT&T Lays Off Up to 1400 Employees Just Before Christmas

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Up to 1400 AT&T employees are getting coal in their stocking courtesy of AT&T. The installers tell the New York Post they received pink slips despite numerous promises by AT&T that it's dedicated to "creating jobs" thanks to the death of net neutrality and a lower tax rate courtesy of the Trump administration. The layoffs come as AT&T begins shifting its attention from traditional TV delivery methods (DirecTV satellite, AT&T IPTV), and toward streaming video services like DirecTV Now. AT&T is also planning another new, wireless-centric streaming video effort to be launched sometime in the new year.
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The cuts came just as AT&T was busy promising it would create jobs in the wake of the Trump administration's new tax plan, which prioritizes giving tax breaks to giant companies like AT&T.
"We adjust our workforce based on changing market dynamics, which vary from region to region," AT&T says of the cuts. "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."
This isn't likely to be the last of cutbacks at the company's traditional video operations. The company has stopped directing new customers to the company's IPTV service, formerly known as U-Verse TV. It's likely only a matter of time before that service is shelved completely, allowing AT&T to repurpose IPTV bandwidth to help it increase broadband speeds in fiber to the node and VDSL markets.
While originally reports indicated 700 layoffs, some AT&T workers indicate to DSLReports.com that this number is being under-reported by as much as half.
"Just in the Southwest region we had 700 legacy AT&T employees get surplussed or laid off," says the worker. "I think reports from all districts put it close to 1400 or so just for the AT&T side."
AT&T appears to have tried to hide the layoffs beneath the announcement that the company was doling out $1,000 bonuses thanks to, allegedly, the GOP's tax plan (which dramatically reduces AT&T's base tax rate) and the repeal of net neutrality.
But some industry observers noticed that at least part of the bonuses were actually tied to the recent deal AT&T struck with its union employees. Others highlight that while nice, a $1,000 bonus isn't the same as a real raise, and is likely a pittance when compared to the billions in additional revenue AT&T will glean from the net neutrality repeal, the repeal of broadband privacy rules, and the significantly lower tax rate AT&T will enjoy in the decades to come courtesy of the Trump administration.

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