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Comcast Laid Off Hundreds Before Christmas and Kept it Quiet With Non-Disclosure Agreements

Phillip Dampier January 4, 2018 Comcast/Xfinity, Public Policy & Gov't 3 Comments

Two weeks before Christmas and on the cusp of passage of the Republican-sponsored corporate tax cuts that promised better pay and more jobs for workers, Comcast fired at least 500 door-to-door sales employees and required them to sign non-disclosure agreements in return for a severance package.

Managers, supervisors, and direct sales staff in Chicago, Florida, and across Comcast’s Central division — including the midwest and southeastern U.S., were abruptly terminated around Dec. 15, according to documents obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Most of the workers trudged door to door in neighborhoods and apartment complexes selling Comcast services to residential customers. Comcast has attempted to keep the layoffs quiet by requiring laid off workers to sign a non-disclosure agreement if they want a severance package. After being confronted by the newspaper, a Comcast spokesperson confirmed the layoffs.

“The Central Division is creating a new territory-based sales model that will connect more closely with residential prospects and customers in their communities,” Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Moyer said Thursday. “By giving highly trained sales professionals direct responsibility for entire neighborhoods, we can provide a better experience for those who are interested in our services, during and after the sale.”

Because the layoffs only affect some of Comcast’s regional divisions, additional job cuts could be forthcoming if the company adopts its new sales model nationwide.

The Philadelphia Inquirer could not identify affected employees because Comcast required laid-off workers to sign Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).

Embittered employees are upset having to remain anonymous talking about their jobs disappearing just before Christmas. Comcast also gets to avoid paying the fired workers its heavily promoted $1,000 bonus because Comcast conveniently eliminated their positions shortly before announcing the bonus.

The Trump Administration promoted the corporate tax cut as a Christmas gift to the middle class, claiming it would inspire companies to add jobs and boost worker pay. At Comcast, the tax cut will provide hundreds of millions in tax savings annually that are expected to be mostly returned to shareholders. Corporate executives are also expected to benefit through significantly higher bonuses tied to the increased cash on hand from tax savings and the higher value of Comcast’s stock. Comcast has made no commitments about hiring new workers, but did claim it would invest up to $50 billion in its company’s operations, which is roughly comparable to what Comcast traditionally spent before the tax cuts were announced.

According to the newspaper, it seems Comcast treated its shocked workers with about as much sensitivity as it gives its customers:

Rumors of an employee cutback among the sales people at Comcast had been percolating for weeks. But the disclosure of the terminations came as a shock when the employees were called into a company meeting in the southeastern U.S. in mid-December.

They were told that a new Comcast direct sales system requires fewer bodies “and as of today everyone in this room does not have a job anymore,” the terminated Comcast employee said.

One employee kept holding his head and saying “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.” Another worried about how to find new health-care coverage. A third employee was close to purchasing a new home and feared the personal income hit.

Comcast direct sales employees earned $50,000 to $100,000 through a low base salary and commissions, the terminated employee said. The commissions ranged between roughly $75 for a new Internet Plus customer to $350 for a new customer who ordered a triple-play package with home security, the former employee said.

“I don’t know how you do this right before Christmas.”

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. kaniki says:

    It does not surprise me.. Comcast, like other big corporations, are all about greed.. They do not care one bit about their employees..

    One thing that does make me wonder is, how many of these people put a little away for a rainy day.. Meaning, how many actually saved some money, instead of spending it all. Too many people are quick to spend every penny that they get, and not save much of anything.. Then, when something like this does happen, and when you work for a big company like this, it can, and does happen, you hear them crying that they do not know what they are going to do to pay their bills next month.. or even, where they are going to get money for food for next week. Seems to be the mindset of most people these days.. Most do not know how to save a little, and not spend it all.

    Either way, this was a very low thing to do to them.. Especially the timing.. It does make me wonder, just what the severance package amounted to.. my guess, not much..

  2. Duffin says:

    So much for JOBS JOBS JOBS, amiright?

  3. BobInIllinois says:

    For those that live in warmer climates, door-to-door sales can be most difficult in the US Midwest and NorthEast during the months of January, February, and March.







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