Midwest Elected Officials Call on AT&T to Suspend Job Cuts to Aid Pandemic Recovery

Elected officials from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana released letters Wednesday calling on AT&T to suspend its job cuts and offshoring to support America's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their letters to AT&T CEO John Stankey, United States Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin of Michigan, Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson, and Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, Jamael Tito Brown, along with several prominent government officials laid out a set of recommendations to help America's economic recovery:

  • Suspending cuts to technician and call center jobs so long as any work is contracted out.
  • Suspending cuts to retail jobs so long as the company utilizes authorized dealers.
  • Honoring agreements of neutrality and voluntary recognition with CWA to allow all workers at companies acquired by AT&T to join the union without management opposition or interference.

"Many areas in the Midwest do not have access to the high-speed internet connections that have become indispensable for education, health care, remote work, and other services during the pandemic," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "AT&T's union workforce and its commitment to universal service was the bedrock for economic growth and stability for millions of Americans. It's time for AT&T to show that it is ready to build back better from this pandemic. If AT&T's executives truly care about their employees, their customers and our country, they will end these job cuts and build the next generation of broadband across America using their skilled, dependable union workforce."

Government officials are growing increasingly frustrated with AT&T's lack of transparency. Earlier this month, the Mississippi Public Service Commission issued a subpoena to force AT&T to disclose how many people had benefited from $284 million the company received from the federal Connect America Fund to expand access to broadband in rural areas. The commission has received complaints from rural residents who do not have access to broadband service.