AT&T cutting 3,500 jobs

AT&T said Monday it will slash approximately 3,500 jobs and take a US$240 million charge in the fourth quarter related to the cuts.

The company said in a statement that slightly more than half of the affected employees would be in management positions. AT&T said the job cuts are a result of improved processes and automation in its business services division.

Company spokesman Dan Lawler couldn't say whether any IT employees would be among those workers let go. He said AT&T employs 72,000 workers worldwide.

Lawler said most of the affected employees, who were notified of the pending job cuts last year, would be off the payroll by midyear.

In the statement, AT&T also said it would take a $1.1 billion fourth-quarter charge, mainly associated with its investment in AT&T Latin America.

Separately, AT&T announced that it had extended its agreement with digital subscriber line provider Covad Communications Group Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., to use Covad's network to offer high-speed access to its consumer customers. AT&T said it would take a $200 million fourth-quarter charge related to that deal.

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