AT&T’s New Financial Plan Caters to Wall Street and Leaves Customers and Employees Behind

Monday, October 28, 2019

As part of today’s quarterly earnings report, AT&T unveiled a new three-year plan focused on boosting share prices. The company’s report also revealed additional job cuts, bringing the total cuts at AT&T since the corporate tax cut went into effect in January 2018 to 33,778.

“The plan that AT&T announced today is something only a hedge fund manager could love,” said Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton. “Instead of using its massive profits to increase investment in next generation wireless and fiber broadband networks and train its employees for jobs of the future, AT&T plans to spend $30 billion buying back its own stock to boost share prices. Our union will continue to oppose Paul Singer’s agenda and keep a close eye as AT&T conducts its portfolio review. And we will continue to 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.”

AT&T’s plan comes after vulture capital hedge fund Elliott Management took a small stake in the company, aiming to extract profits from AT&T by cutting jobs and selling off critical assets while pumping up the stock price with billions in share buybacks. While AT&T did not fully adopt 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 puts the concerns of a few wealthy shareholders above serving customers by investing in the network and its employees.

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