CWA Slams AT&T for Slashing Jobs After Proxy Reveals Skyrocketing Executive Pay
NATIONAL – AT&T's proxy statement sent to shareholders this week reveals the company rewarded CEO Randall Stephenson with $29 million last year and paid out hefty bonuses to other executives. Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Chris Shelton responded with the following statement:
"Randall Stephenson should be required to explain to his employees how after pocketing $29 million and benefiting significantly from the tax cut he lobbied for, he can turn around and slash jobs and cause stress and turmoil for hard-working people across America. AT&T promised thousands of new jobs and higher wages for workers before the tax bill passed, but instead workers' lives are being upended by AT&T's shameful corporate greed."
AT&T's proxy further reveals that after it acquired Time Warner Inc., WarnerMedia Chief John Stankey became the second highest-paid company executive with $16.6 million in total compensation, meanwhile General Counsel David McAttee earned a $5 million bonus for his role in the merger.
Skyrocketing executive pay at AT&T comes as the telecom giant's own numbers show it has eliminated nearly 12,000 jobs since the tax cuts took effect and its recently announced closure of call centers in Indianapolis, Ind.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Appleton, Wis.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Meriden, Conn. Earlier this month, AT&T announced a major restructuring in its WarnerMedia unit which is expected to result in significant layoffs.
AT&T workers have been protestingtheseclosures, and CWA just issued a broad call for the House Ways and Means Committee to investigate how AT&T is spending the enormous tax cut benefits it received from the 2018 tax bill. AT&T workers and CWA members have also been meeting with their local members of Congress to deliver personal letters asking for their support for the hearings. In the letters, CWA members describe how AT&T's actions are affecting them and their communities:
"[AT&T has] been laying off employees nearly monthly since the tax cut, instead of creating jobs," wrote a telecommunications specialist from White Lake, Mich., who has been with the company for almost 40 years.
"I've worked for AT&T for 19 years and have contributed to AT&T's success," wrote a CWA member from Canal Fulton, Ohio. "My job...provides me with the ability to provide a home, food, and hope for a better future for my daughter. AT&T is still successful and there is still plenty of work to be done at AT&T but my job is not stable even with the corporate tax cuts that were meant to help companies maintain jobs, create new jobs, and raise wages."
"CEO Randall Stephenson stated that [the tax cut] would promote job creation, but there are massive and deep-cutting layoffs to the loyal employees that helped create and maintain AT&T," wrote a CWA member from Akron, Ohio. "This is not corporate loyalty to the people who maintain this company. It is corporate greed catering to the top shareholders and forsaking those below just trying to earn an honest middle-class living."
CWA has been leading the charge to hold AT&T and other corporations accountable to their tax bill promises by publicly challenging them to reveal their spending plans for the tax windfall. CWA and other major unions filed information requests at over five companies and took action against companies like AT&T over its broken tax bill promises. CWA is calling on committee chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Congress to use their investigative powers to ensure that workers receive the benefits they were promised. Congressman Neal has promised to hold hearings on the tax bill in his role as Chair of the Committee.