What just happened? AT&T is prepping for a wave of layoffs that’ll eliminate more than 3,400 jobs across the country. Those who are let go will receive severance pay and up to six months of health insurance coverage, a spokesperson said. Predictably, the workers union that represents some AT&T employees was less than thrilled to learn of the cuts.

According to a recent report from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the job cuts will largely target technicians and clerical jobs. Furthermore, AT&T is preparing to close north of 250 retail AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores which would impact around 1,300 jobs.

The CWA is a media labor union that represents some of AT&T's employees.

The telecommunications giant confirmed to Axios that job cuts were coming but didn’t specify how many people would be let go. The company added that it had plans to close stores before the pandemic but that the current situation has accelerated matters. Most retail employees will be offered another job with the company, AT&T said.

The company further told Axios that “there will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees, consistent with our previously announced transformation initiative. Additionally, we’ll be eliminating more non-payroll workers — the vast majority of which are outside the United States — than we are managers or union-represented employees.”

CWA President Chris Shelton cited an interview CNN conducted with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson a few months back in which the executive said he was “looking at this [Covid-19] as a time of war.”

“This is like World War II. And everybody needs to step up and do their part, in terms of how we help the general population and the general public,” Stephenson added.

“If we are in a war to keep our economy going during this crisis, why is AT&T dismissing the troops?” Shelton questioned. While a valid argument, Stephenson’s comments were made on March 22 at a time when most had no idea the extent that the pandemic would have on the economy.

Image credit: Roman Tiraspolsky, skrotov