AT&T will lay off more than 3,400 technicians and clerical workers, along with managers and executives, according to the Communications Workers of America union, which represents some employees. The company confirmed it would make cuts, but didn’t specify the number of jobs.
“We’ll be eliminating more non-payroll workers -- the vast majority of which are outside the United States -- than we are managers or union-represented employees,” AT&T told Axios in a statement. It’ll offer laid-off workers severance pay and up to six months of healthcare coverage. News of the cuts comes a day after T-Mobile reportedly laid off hundreds of former Sprint employees and said it’d hire 5,000 workers in other roles over the next year.
AT&T will also close more than 250 AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores. Around 1,300 retail staff will be affected, but AT&T will offer most of those employees other roles within the company. Although AT&T had already earmarked those stores for closure, it said the coronavirus pandemic sped up those plans. As such, it might be harder for you to find an AT&T retail location where you can buy a new device or take yours in for service.
Along with the "economic impact and changed customer behaviors" caused by the spread of COVID-19, the layoffs are part of a strategic shift. The company told Business Insider it’s looking to focus on parts of its business that are growing and “address lower customer demand for some legacy products.”