Virus Prompts AT&T to Boost Pay

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AT&T gave a bonus to “front-line employees” who serve customers. “We have a responsibility like few other companies during the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors and healthcare providers, our FirstNet first responders and all our customers depend on us to stay connected,” the telecom said Wednesday.

Effective March 25, and until further notice, the company said it will pay a 20 percent bonus above the regular hourly base rate of pay to bargained-for employees for all time worked in the office or at home. The bonus will be included in the regular rate of pay for calculating overtime rates.  

AT&T (NYSE: T) is grappling with a massive shift in traffic on its networks as more people work from home in efforts to stamp out the spread of the coronavirus. At the same time, the carrier is working to keep people and organizations in communication amid health issues and other challenges with the outbreak. 

Core network traffic, which includes business, home broadband and wireless usage, was up 27 percent recently compared to the same day last month.

AT&T has been changing how it treats its employees, including a push toward tele-work, store closings and more paid, excused time off for some because of COVID-19.

The company has been rolling out new ideas to help keep consumers on their networks. This week, AT&T said it would provide 60 days of unlimited data for laptops, tablets and hotspots for schools. It’s offering free access to the Caribu video-calling app.

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