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.