Union urges key Dem to investigate how AT&T is using GOP tax-law savings

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) wants likely incoming House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) to investigate how AT&T and other large companies are using the tax savings they’ve received from President Trump’s tax-cut law.

In a letter to Neal, the labor group said that such an investigation is needed “following unfulfilled promises to American workers on wages and jobs.”

The tax law that Trump signed in December 2017 received no votes from Democrats in Congress. Neal said that he wants to hold hearings on the tax law next year, when Democrats will control the House.

CWA’s letter marks the latest effort from the union to try to get more information from AT&T about how it’s using its tax savings. Two of CWA’s bargaining units are currently bargaining with AT&T for new contracts.

Earlier this year, CWA filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against AT&T because the company didn’t provide the union with information it requested about how it’s using the tax savings. But an NLRB regional director dismissed a charge, and earlier this month the NRLB’s general counsel denied an appeal of the dismissal.

The tax law cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. AT&T and a number of other companies have given their workers $1,000 one-time bonuses attributed to the new law, and the company also invested money in its employee and retiree medical trust and put money toward its charitable foundation. The company has also said that it plans to invest $1 billion in the U.S. this year due to the tax law.

But CWA said AT&T has eliminated more than 7,000 jobs since January and is continuing to send offshore jobs at call centers. The union also argued that it looks like the law has increased incentives for companies to move jobs overseas.

“We would like to know, as the ground zero in your investigation, what is AT&T doing with these tax cut benefits?” CWA told Neal. “Why does it continue to eliminate good, middle-class jobs in favor of lower paid contractors here and especially overseas?”

“Understanding why AT&T and companies like it have failed to follow through on their promises will undoubtedly inform your efforts to rewrite the tax law, so that instead of a giveaway to the rich, it truly does ensure the retention and creation of good jobs in the United States,” CWA added.

An AT&T spokesman said that the company is investing “in good middle-class careers in areas where we’re seeing increasing customer demand for our products and services. “

“We’ve hired 87,000 people in the U.S. in the last three years alone, plus nearly 16,000 in the first 10 months of this year,” the spokesman said. “It’s important to note that most of our union-represented employees have a job offer guarantee that ensures they are offered another job with the company if their current job is eliminated.”

Tags AT&T Communications Workers of America Donald Trump GOP tax cut Richard Neal

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