As part of this week's quarterly earnings report, AT&T revealed that it has cut employment by 5,950 jobs during the third quarter of 2019, bringing the total cuts at AT&T since the corporate tax cut went into effect in January 2018 to 33,778.
The company also announced a disturbing new three-year plan, committing to spend $30 billion on buying back its own stock to boost share prices. Instead of building toward the future by bringing next generation wireless and fiber broadband networks to all Americans, AT&T plans to use its massive profits to further enrich its largest investors. AT&T's announcements come after billionaire Paul Singer's hedge fund Elliott Management recently took a small stake in the company to try to extract profits by cutting jobs and selling off critical assets while pumping up the stock price with billions in share buybacks. While AT&T did not adopt all of Elliott's plans, the company's commitment to spend up to 70% of its free cash flow on stock buybacks, appoint new directors to its board, and review its portfolio with an eye toward selling off parts of its business makes it clear that Elliott's destructive ideas have taken hold at the company.
"The plan that AT&T announced today is something only a hedge fund manager could love," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Our union will continue to oppose Paul Singer's agenda and do what we've always done: fight back against corporate greed by standing up to protect good jobs at the bargaining table and, when necessary, on the strike line."