Labor

The people who work in the communications industries.

AT&T confirms thousands of job cuts, 250 store closings

AT&T confirmed it is planning widespread job cuts that include managers and executives, in addition to 3,400 technician and clerical jobs. It will also close 250 retail stores, impacting 1,300 retail jobs. While the cuts can't be separated from the COVID-19 impact on the economy, the moves also come as the mobile industry has consolidated from four national players to three following T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint. AT&T said the store closures were planned, but accelerated by the pandemic. Most store employees will be offered another job with AT&T, the company said.

Comcast Announces $100 Million Multiyear Plan to Advance Social Justice and Equality

Comcast is developing a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. There will be $75 million in cash and $25 million in media that will be distributed over the next three years.

Black Technologists Hope New Conversations About Race Spark Overdue Change

Protests around the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd while in police custody are reigniting discussion of black representation in the technology sector. Despite yearslong efforts by companies to diversify their tech workforces, black people accounted for 7.8% of people in core information-technology occupations in the U.S., according to CompTIA, an IT trade group. Several black tech executives said they hope the current attention on racial disparities will bring change, and in turn, expand the participation of blacks in technology in ways they haven’t seen before.

Of course technology perpetuates racism. It was designed that way.

Today the United States crumbles under the weight of two pandemics: coronavirus and police brutality. Both wreak physical and psychological violence. Both disproportionately kill and debilitate black and brown people. And both are animated by technology that we design, repurpose, and deploy—whether it’s contact tracing, facial recognition, or social media. We often call on technology to help solve problems.

Senate Commerce Committee Approves Tech-Related Bills

The Senate Commerce Committee approved a handful of communications-related bills May 20, favorably recommending them to the full Senate for a vote and passage. Approved bills include:

House Republicans Announce Emerging Tech Agenda

House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) announced the subcommittee’s agenda to ensure American leadership in emerging technology to beat China and other challenges to global competitiveness. The emerging technology agenda includes 15 bills designed to advance American leadership. The objectives of the legislation are "Advancing and Securing Emerging Technologies", "Global Data Innovation and Security", "Advancing Innovation Across the Country", and "Combating Harms Through Innovation". 

Commerce Dept Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds, Including Broadband, to Aid Communities Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic

Commerce Sec Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act into law. The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion of which $1.467 billion is available for grant making.

America at the Crossroads

History at the crossroads, one of those inflection points when we have the opportunity to learn from our experiences and use them to build a better future. Coronavirus brings us to another of those crossroads. Which road will we take?

FCC Makes It Easier for Companies to Rehire Laid Off Employees

The Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau, in consultation with the Enforcement Bureau, waives the broad outreach requirements of the FCC's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) recruitment rules in the limited circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remarks Of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, Advisory Committee On Diversity And Digital Empowerment, Via Teleconference

I’m proud to announce that I will be hosting a virtual conversation with HBCU Presidents on May 4th to discuss how the transition to online learning has impacted their students’ ability to continue learning, innovating, and connecting. During this discussion, I look forward to hearing how these universities rose to the occasion to connect students without broadband access and get devices in the hands of those without laptops and tablets so they could complete their assignments online. But the need for connectivity does not end with our students.