The media giant saw $20 billion dollars in tax breaks and record profit margins in a very competitive wireless sector that includes Verizon, Sprint, and smaller entities like Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless. In spite of that, AT&T seems to be laying off workers or outsourcing their jobs outside of the United States, which is in contrary to the media conglomerate’s promise to add jobs after hitting financial pay dirt.
Instead of adding 7,000 jobs, AT&T eliminated nearly 12,000 jobs in 2018 and 16,000 jobs since 2011. That’s a staggering contrast to the message AT&T is pushing to its consumers and to potential employers.
One of the major factors in the loss of American jobs at AT&T is the cost of outsourcing those jobs overseas. When the tax bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate back in 2017, it decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and send those jobs overseas actually reduces the taxes they would pay on profits to 10.5 percent, which is half the already lower tax rate they receive.
According to the Communications Workers of America labor union, AT&T has closed 40 call centers in the past seven years with four of those closures taking place this year. The CWA also reports that in the first half of 2018, AT&T netted a profit of over $10 billion dollars.
In spite of that huge profit, the media giant is sending jobs overseas, where the wages for a call center employee can be as low as $2 dollars an hour.
The 7,000 jobs estimate comes from AT&T itself, which stated that they would invest $1 billion dollars in the United States and that an investment of that size creates and average of 7,000 job openings.
On the contrary, the CWA reports that AT&T actually cut 7,000 jobs since their announcement, which has been a point of contention with the labor union and the Texas-based communications giant.
Brandon Howard is a Grit Post contributor, auto worker, and former public radio reporter based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @mrpowerhoward.