(Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) plans to cut more than 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks, the wireless carrier told its main labor union, the Communications Workers of America, on Tuesday.
The U.S. telecom and media giant also plans to permanently close over 250 stores, which would impact about 1,300 retail jobs, the union said.
AT&T said in a statement that the novel coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns to curb the spread of infections have changed consumer behaviors.
“With more customers shopping online, we are closing some retail stores to reflect our customers’ shopping practices,” AT&T said. “While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The company said that most employees will be offered an alternative position within the company.
Executives, managers and union-represented employees will be affected along with non-payroll workers outside of the United States, AT&T said. The company is offering severance pay and health care for laid-off employees for the rest of the year.
The company in April pulled reut.rs/3d8coYf its financial forecast for the year due to the COVID-19 crisis and warned the current quarter would demonstrate the full impact of the nationwide stay-at-home mandates.
Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Arriana McLymore in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sonya Hepinstall