Just weeks after billionaire CEO Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corporation announced that it had acquired about 1% of AT&T and laid out plans to extract profits from the company by cutting jobs and selling off critical assets, AT&T announced its intention to sell off wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America, a company with a history of union-busting and job cuts.
“AT&T workers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have fought hard to keep good, family-supporting jobs in their communities,” said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of Communications Workers of America District 3. “Thanks to workers’ dedication and solidarity during recent contract negotiations, AT&T guaranteed that customer calls would continue to be handled in Puerto Rico. Now, all of that is in jeopardy, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Elliott Management’s plan to sell off AT&T’s assets puts all of the company’s employees and customers at risk, especially those in rural and suburban areas of the United States.”
AT&T workers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands played a critical role in making sure people could reach their loved ones in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Now, instead of doing the right thing by acknowledging workers’ dedication and investing in American jobs, AT&T is doing a billionaire’s bidding by putting its workers on the chopping block and abandoning these communities.
CWA represents almost 900 technicians, customer service representatives and retail employees at AT&T and AT&T Mobility in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.