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AT&T to close more than 300 retail stores

(Image: AT&T/Graphic: The Desk)

AT&T will close more than 300 retail stores over the next two months, a move that will impact more than 1,600 workers across the country during what is normally a busy holiday season.

The telecommunication giant confirmed the news last week. Information about job losses being reported in a press release on Monday by the Communication Workers of America (CWA), a trade union that represents AT&T’s retail workers and technicians.

AT&T said the move was due to shifting consumer habits where customers feel more comfortable purchasing goods like wireless phones and tablets bundled with the company’s pay TV and broadband data services online instead of in stores.

But the CWA said blamed an activist hedge fund for the company’s decision to close the 300 stores, noting the hedge fund had a history of encouraging companies like AT&T to use third-party “authorized resellers” that employ workers at a lower rate with less benefits and typically no union representation.

Most of the workers who are displaced by the latest round of store closures will be offered positions at nearby AT&T-owned retailers or offered “call center work-from-home positions” if they “meet the qualifications,” CWA said.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

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