The following statement can be attributed to Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton.
Over the years, I have worked closely with Randall Stephenson on behalf of the 100,000 AT&T employees that CWA represents. While we have not always agreed, he understands the importance of union representation and has respected the collective bargaining process.
The global crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the value of having an established, respectful labor-management relationship. I have no doubt that Randall Stephenson puts the safety of his employees above all else, and we were able to quickly agree on policies to protect workers and provide enhanced paid leave during this crisis. I also appreciate his commitment to a free press, as demonstrated by the continued independence of CNN under AT&T’s ownership.
Stephenson’s recent decision to suspend AT&T’s stock buyback program shows his dedication to the long-term health of the company, and is a rebuke to the short-sighted tactics of Elliott Management. John Stankey is an eminently qualified successor, and has the experience and deep knowledge of the company that interlopers like the partners at Elliott, who are looking for a quick profit, lack.
The need for reliable, widespread access to next generation broadband communications networks has never been more clear. CWA members at AT&T are ready to build, maintain and support those neworks, and I look forward to working with John Stankey to keep good, union jobs in the communities that AT&T serves.