Saturday, December 23, 2017


As you know, AT&T gave its workers an early #MAGA Christmas present:
... AT&T boss [Randall Stephenson] — citing a mountain of cash the telecom giant will keep because of Trump’s tax cuts — said this week that AT&T will pay out $200 million to employees by awarding 200,000 of its rank-and-file year-end bonuses of $1,000 each.

That’s on the heels of last month, when CEO Stephenson pledged to create 7,000 jobs with $1 billion AT&T it expects to save on taxes.
Whoops! Sorry -- that was a gift to some of its workers. As for the rest...
Meanwhile, however, a slew of AT&T layoffs nationwide looks poised to claim casualties running into the thousands.... AT&T fired more than 700 cable installers earlier this month.

Elsewhere, sources said AT&T has lately laid off 215 high-skilled technician jobs in nine Southern states. Those jobs, many paying $36 an hour, will be eliminated in the first quarter, sources said....

Add to that 280 jobs that will be cut beginning Feb. 17 at AT&T’s Dallas credit and collections center, a source to AT&T confirmed. Also in February,  278 jobs will be cut at AT&T’s El Paso, Texas call center. Yet another 87 positions will be scaled back at the company’s Kansas City, Mo. credit and collections center, according to the source.

AT&T also fired an undisclosed number of workers in November at its Atlanta-based entertainment wireless group, a worker said.

This smattering of layoffs alone — likely only part of the looming bloodbath, according to sources — could save AT&T as much as $100 million.

As such, the total layoffs could save AT&T enough cash to offset the $200 million in bonuses it’s planning...
Did I mention that the story I'm quoting is in the New York Post? I guess enforcement of the Murdoch party line isn't quite as rigid as I thought.

AT&T last year showed its financial support for the Trump administration donating $2.1 million to his inauguration, according to public records.

Stephenson also is president of the Boy Scouts of America and arranged for Trump this year to speak in front of the scouts.

Still, Trump’s Department of Justice last month sued to block AT&T’s $85 billion deal to buy the Time Warner deal. Some speculate this week’s announcements about bonuses and jobs are a bid to curry favor with the White House.
Ya think?

This isn't even good PR. People who aren't getting #MAGA bonuses won't be happy for the lucky few -- they'll resent the fact that they weren't among the winners. That's especially true for those who were canned by a company that Trump is praising as magnanimous.

Also, if this was such a great idea, why was it a one-day story? When the wave of bonuses was announced, I thought there'd be a second wave the following day. That's how you imprint a story on people's memories. But this story had a primary audience of one -- the president -- and he wanted his big dopamine rush all at once. For that reason, the White House didn't manage the story well from a public relations perspective, and the corporations didn't either. But, of course, they don't really care what we think of them. They don't need us to like them. They think they need the president's approval. So this fake news was for him alone.

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