Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Business | By Pat Ferguson

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

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

More than 20,000 unionized AT&T workers walked off the job Friday - part of a three-day strike to protest contract negotiations with their employer. They said they're striking over wages, benefits and most importantly, job security.

CWA warns that with wireless employees expected go on strike, several AT&T retail stores could be closed this weekend, claiming the strike could be the largest in retail history.

The company and the union have held contract negotiations for almost four months of bargaining, according to the statement, which said workers are fighting for wage increases to cover rising healthcare costs, basic job security, affordable healthcare, and a fair scheduling policy.

Some 17,000 other potential protesters come from AT&T's home phone, internet and cable division in California, Nevada and CT.

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Employees want an agreement between the Communication Workers of America Union and AT&T Mobility.

Holding signs that proclaim they are "On Strike for Good Jobs", workers from the AT&T Call Center in Davenport have crowded the sidewalks along 53rd Street and Elmore Avenue Friday afternoon. We have made every effort to bargain in good faith with AT&T but have been met with delays and excuses.

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. AT&T worker Nicole Popis told People's World that she and her coworkers were ready to do "whatever it takes" to get a fair contract. Sales commissions for store employees are also a sticking point. I'm a single mother and my son is about to graduate.

Managers across the country have been spreading misinformation and threatening workers with discipline if they participate in the strike, so strong community and labor support on the picket lines will be essential if a walkout occurs.

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