It’s the ultimate nightmare job scenario: You’re notified that not only are you being laid off, but if you want that last bit of pay you know you’ll need while you look for other work or file for unemployment, you’ll be required to train your own replacement. But that only happens in the movies, right? American companies aren’t actually like that, right?!?
Unfortunately for thousands of AT&T workers in the United States, that’s exactly the situation being reported by Axios concerning the Dallas-based comms giant. In fact, according to that brief, many of the employees had worked for AT&T for more than ten years, and they’re not being offered severance pay or early retirement or even a sliver of what a matured 401k might have been.
Factor in the fact that anyone who’s been at the same job for a decade likely doesn’t have skills other than those that would transfer directly to another company doing the same job, and we’re talking massive job losses and frankly lives ruined.
But so far this story is the chaser before the shot: AT&T got a $3 billion tax break last year from the tax scam passed by the GOP in 2017 and signed by Trump. They made a huge show of publicly signing those thousand-dollar “bonus” checks for employees, which represented in reality about a one percent raise for their highest-paid technicians.
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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said at the time of that legislation,
Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages. I know exactly what AT&T would do: We would invest more.”
And so they cut those thousand-dollar checks for 200,000 workers, which cost them only one-fifteenth of just their tax savings from 2019 alone. Then they cut about 28,000 jobs.
The most frustrating part of it, for many of the Texas residents who will be losing their jobs, is that they voted for the guy that’s responsible for providing the incentive for more companies to outsource their labor: Donald Trump. He’s failed to live up to his promise to crack down on companies that abuse foreign worker visas to hire labor they can pay much less, and actually give tax breaks that reward companies for sending their work overseas or offshore.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sounded off on Trump’s seeming inability to get bipartisan legislation signed that would correct some of these problems months ago:
Trump promised he would substantially reduce the trade deficit, stop the outsourcing of American jobs, and rip up NAFTA. He lied about all three. Since Trump has been in office, our trade deficit in goods has shot up to a record-breaking $891 billion. He has given out $50 billion in government contracts to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. He passed tax cuts that reward companies for offshoring even more jobs. And now more than 185,000 American jobs have been shipped overseas under his watch.”
But despite being the only candidate to issue such a statement, the rest have noticed. And now the workers are going to notice as well.
Featured image via screen capture
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