Sun, Mar 26, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Trump praises Charter over plan to hire 20,000

AP, WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump on Friday praised a plan by cable company Charter Communications Inc to hire 20,000 US call center workers. However, the hiring initiative dates back to 2015 as part of the company’s successful efforts to merge with Time Warner Cable Inc.

It was the latest corporate jobs announcement made at the White House that capitalized on plans made before Trump won the presidency.

Other major companies, including General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co, have allowed Trump to take credit for job decisions that either predate his election or involve market forces outside the administration’s direct control.

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge had said at an investment conference in December 2015 that the company would have to recruit about 20,000 people once it acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks LLC to bring outsourced jobs in-house.

However, after meeting with Trump in the Oval Office on Friday, Rutledge credited the administration’s call to reduce regulations and corporate tax rates for contributing to the hiring decision.

He added that uncertainty over whether the administration can deliver those corporate tax cuts — in light of the muddle this week over replacing former US president Barack Obama’s healthcare law — could influence the company’s hiring commitment.

As part of the 20,000 jobs to be added over four years, Rutledge said the company would also invest US$25 billion and open a new call center in McAllen, Texas, that is to employ 600 workers.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also attended the meeting.

Call center jobs at Charter have a base pay of US$14 per hour and total annual compensation of nearly US$29,000, according to the jobs site Glassdoor.

Trump said the plans will be great for US workers, telling Rutledge: “You watch, it will be one of your really fantastic decisions.”

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