In a cruel irony to U.S. workers, AT&T Inc. has announced that it will be trimming its workforce/laying off workers by 1.5%.
AT&T reported in 2007 that it had approximately 310,000 employees, which equals layoffs of about 4,650. AT&T claims that the layoffs, which were announced in its SEC filing last week, are necessary to streamline company operations to operate more efficiently after its mergers with SBC, BellSouth and the original AT&T. AT&T did not indicate a timeline for the layoffs to start or to end.
At the same time AT&T announced last week that it would need to outsource some U.S.-based jobs because it could not find qualified American workers to fill them. Perhaps the American workers can’t be found because they have been forced to take early retirement and because AT&T has failed to train or retain younger U.S. employees. It’s an interesting predicament AT&T has put itself in.
AT&T reportedly indicated that the 1.5% reduction would come from management ranks. That means another 4,650 people looking for jobs in a slow U.S. economy that has already outsourced comparable management type positions.
It is wrong that AT&T has gobbled up these telecoms, as well as Cingular for its mobile offerings, and now is eliminating positions and shedding employees like a dog losing its winter coat, while labeling it “streamlining.”
In the meantime, AT&T reported net income for its Q4 in 2007 of $3.1 billion, with revenue for the quarter of $30.3 billion. Maybe it is time for the bean counters and top management to experience some streamlining for their jobs. The experience is always different when viewed from another perspective.