Despite historically low unemployment, job cuts are still occurring in South Florida, according to notifications directly to workers and to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Reasons employers cited for the layoffs include changing consumer habits, facility closures, changes of ownership and lost government contracts.
At AT&T, 121 technicians have been notified that their jobs will be eliminated in South Florida over the coming weeks, according to the workers’ union, the Communications Workers of America. The jobs are among 1,880 eliminated by the company nationwide and 171 phased out in Florida, the union reported this week.
The South Florida positions are spread across the region: 49 in Miami, 18 in Perrine, 14 in West Palm Beach, 12 in Boynton Beach, 10 in Fort Lauderdale, six in Hollywood, five in Boca Raton, three in Pompano Beach, and two each in Jupiter and Delray Beach.
AT&T spokeswoman Kelly Starling declined to confirm the union’s statewide and South Florida tallies, saying, “We’re not commenting on numbers or locations.”
But she said the company is reducing the number of installation and repair technicians in its wireline business, which includes home phone, Internet and pay TV services. Those lines lost nearly 1.9 million U.S. accounts between 2016 and 2018, Starling said. In addition, AT&T reported a net loss of 544,000 U-Verse and DirecTV subscribers in the first quarter of 2019.
Displaced workers in the Southeast can choose to participate in the company’s Job Bank Program for up to a year, Starling said. During that time, they will receive a severance payment, continue to receive benefits and accrue credit for their pensions, and can receive priority consideration for other job opportunities at the company.
Starling noted that the company continues to hire in areas where demand is increasing.
Other companies that recently notified the state of impending layoffs in South Florida include:
- ABB, Inc., a Coral Springs-based manufacturer of relays and automation components, is eliminating 15 positions on June 30 or within 14 days afterward, as the company closes its facility at 4300 Coral Ridge Drive. Those cuts are in addition to 56 positions eliminated since November.
- Topshop Topman, a British clothier, is closing its retail store in the Aventura Mall and laying off 80 workers between June 19 and July 3. The closure follows a bankruptcy declaration by the store’s parent company, UK-based Arcadia Group. Among the eliminated positions are 42 sales advisers and five stock assistants, the company told the state.
- Commcare Specialty Pharmacy is closing its Plantation-based facility on July 31 and eliminating 47 jobs, including 30 pharmacy technicians, eight pharmacists, two nurses, a sales position, an accounting position, an information technology position and four “other staff” positions, according to the company’s notification to the state. The closure follows the sale of the Charlotte, N.C.-based company to CVS Caremark.
- North Miami Cleaners Inc., which conducted business as Spotmaster Linens, terminated 98 employees when it closed its facility in Opa-locka between May 10 and May 24. The company, which served the hospitality industry, attributed the closure to unforeseeable water utility costs and a failure to obtain new capital.
- Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, a foster-care services provider, announced its intention to shut down on June 30 after losing its contract with the Florida Department of Children and Families. While 162 employees were notified of their impending layoffs, only 18 did not receive offers to work with the company that won the contract, identified in the Miami New Times as Citrus Health. Nine of the 144 workers who did receive job offers chose not to work for the new company, according to Our Kids’ notice to the state.
- The Nursing Center at Mercy is permanently suspending operations and terminating 141 positions at its facility at 3671 S. Miami Ave., Miami, after receiving notification that the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration would deny payment for new admissions because of deficiencies identified by the agency. Also, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services terminated its participation with the facility as of July 18, the company told the state. The terminations will be phased in through July 20 as residents are moved out of the center, the company said.
- The Service Companies, a housekeeping staffing services provider, is eliminating 139 jobs following the loss of its contract with 1 Hotel South Beach on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Those jobs will be terminated between July 15 and July 19.
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