Union: Up to 40K walking off the job at AT&T this weekend

Employees of the AT&T call center in Pueblo walk off the job at 1 p.m
Employees of the AT&T call center in Pueblo walk off the job at 1 p.m
Author

20 May, 2017

The CWA had said on Wednesday that wireless workers across 36 states and Washington, D.C. would walk-off their jobs if an agreement was not reached by Friday 3 p.m. ET.

The wireline and DirecTV workers have been without a new contract for over a year and held a one-day strike in March.

In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. AT&T workers will return to work on Monday and have vowed to do what they have to do if AT&T violates their rights or an open-ended strike becomes necessary.

Union leaders said they have been without a contract since February.

During an event at the AT&T call center at The Highlands in April, when Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., announced legislation aimed at protecting communications workers' jobs from outsourcing, CWA Local 2006 President Ann Vogler said recent layoffs, combined with a hiring freeze, were on employees' minds.

Locally, the strike only affects company-owned retail locations in IL, according to Katie Nagus, director of corporate communications based here in St. Louis.

This is a strike happening with over 40,000 AT&T employees across the country. "Eastern Time on Friday workers will be off the job and onto picket lines across the country". That includes the 19,000 line and cable workers in California, Nevada and CT and the DirecTV technicians who will also be walking picket lines over the weekend if they don't get a new contract. The union highlighted the outsourcing issue again Friday, noting that AT&T has cut 12,000 US call-center jobs since 2011.

"This may be the largest retail strike in US history".

As at most telecommunications companies, AT&T's wireless business is growing faster and is more profitable than its wireline side.

Last year, CWA members at Verizon were on strike for 49 days, finally gaining a contract with greater job protections and winning 1,300 new call center jobs.

What's most important is we're all family, whether you're a union member or not.

The closings have devastated cities and towns across the US where unionized call center jobs represent some of the best employment available in working-class communities-like in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where AT&T shut down a call center employing 110 people.

Donald Trump, who at the time was on the campaign trail, tweeted: "Terrible jobs report just reported".

One of Trump's main campaign promises was to bring back jobs.


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