CWA workers in Harrisburg begin weekend strike against AT&T

Henrietta Strickland
May 20, 2017

Local workers joined about 40,000 other union members nationwide for a three-day strike beginning at noon Friday.

AT&T's (T) wireless, wireline and DirecTV workers across 36 states represented by the Communications Workers of America union began a 3-day strike Friday after failing to negotiate a labor agreement with the company. The strike would include 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers and would mark the first time the carrier's wireless employees held a strike. This company made $13 billion in profits previous year, but is now denying its workers, who are making this company so profitable, the contract they deserve.

Workers are also frustrated that they are being asked to pay more of their health-insurance costs, he added, and that changes in retail workers' commissions have limited or reduced their take-home pay.

"We're offering terms in which our employees in these contracts - some of whom average from $115,00 to $148,000 in total compensation - will be better off financially", said Giga. The union highlighted the outsourcing issue again Friday, noting that AT&T has cut 12,000 USA call-center jobs since 2011.

Full disclosure: In These Times staff are members of the Communication Workers of America, and the union is a sponsor of the magazine.

In April a year ago, 40,000 Verizon workers went on strike.

AT&T officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment but earlier this week said the company offers generous wage and pension benefits. "If the strike is called at 2p.m".

This is a strike happening with over 40,000 AT&T employees across the country.

As at most telecommunications companies, AT&T's wireless business is growing faster and is more profitable than its wireline side. Highlighted in a new report produced by the CWA called "Offshoring Customer Service: How AT&T Lowers Standards for Workers and Consumers through its Global Race to the Bottom", the union claims the company has shed more than 12,000 in-house call center jobs since 2011.

With or without a deal, union members plan to return to work on Monday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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