Health Care

AT&T workers go on three-day strike

AT&T workers go on three-day strike

A handful of employees inside the AT&T store at 4900 Transit Road walked off the job and joined over two dozen other striking Communication Workers of America members.

More than 35,000 AT&T workers began a weekend-long strike on Friday after their union accused the company of failing to make a fair proposal during contract negotiations.

"We are ready to go, but we are hoping that AT&T comes to the table, and that we be on the right track toward reaching an agreement", said Candace Johnson, communications director for the the Communications Workers of America.

The weekend strike is being held across 36 states and the District of Columbia and involves an estimated 40,000 union members.

The AT&T Mobility employees are seeking higher wages, no increases their contributions to health insurance premiums, and better job security, according to published reports. Since December, AT&T workers have picketed retail stores in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and other cities, hung banners on freeway overpasses, organized rallies and marches and confronted the corporation at its annual meeting in Dallas.

Landline workers in California and Nevada picketed for a day in March to protest work rules for some in-home technicians and moves to replace US call-center jobs with contractors hired overseas. CWA members also want a reversal of the company's recently changed bonus and incentive pay policy for commissions, which resulted in many employees losing thousands of dollars in take-home pay each year.

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Workers have been mobilizing all week, with informational picketing outside call centers and wireless stores, preparing for the strike, national union leaders said.

AT&T Mobility is one of the single largest retail workforces with union representation anywhere in the U.S. numerous 100,000 members are recently organized after CWA scored victories under "bargaining to organize" agreements with the company, which allowed for speedy representation elections.

AT&T is the single largest telecom corporation in the US, listing $164 billon in sales and 135 million wireless customers.

To keep raking in the profits, AT&T has ruthlessly pursued subcontracting of call center work.

AT&T has been under pressure to control costs as its biggest business - wireless phone service - has matured and faced rising competition from Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. "We're all family, whether you're a union member or not", an AT&T spokesman said. It has eliminated 12,000 call center jobs in the United States since 2011, representing more than 30 percent of its call center employees, and closed more than 30 call centers. They plan to continue the strike through Monday.


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