The company had said it was prepared for a strike; CWA contracts represent less than 14 percent of its employees, the company said. The telco estimates that the striking workers account for about 13 per cent of its total workforce.
"This is the largest walkout in the USA since Verizon workers went on strike a year ago".
"They're trying to close up corporate stores to open up authorized retailer stores". This company made $13 billion in profits past year, but is now denying its workers, who are making this company so profitable, the contract they deserve.
The union, the Communications Workers of America, complains that AT&T is sending call-center jobs overseas and diverting retail jobs to so-called authorized retailers not owned by the company and not unionized, and where wages and benefits are lower.
To keep raking in the profits, AT&T has ruthlessly pursued subcontracting of call center work.
The workers would be joined in their protest by CWA members in AT&T's DirecTV and wireline businesses. The company employs 268,540 workers.
AT&T workers went on strike Friday in Philadelphia and other cities in Pennsylvania to protest the company's failure to negotiate in good faith a new contract. "This is a warning to AT&T: there's only one way out of this now-a fair contract-and we'll settle for nothing less". About 25 people are holding signs on the picket line in front of the AT&T store. It's about time we stand up to receive better and affordable healthcare, a fair scheduling policy and overall wage increase. "I've watched our staff shrink from 200 employees down to 130".
Locally, workers have posted reminders about the planned walkout on message boards and social media asking customers to show their support by not shopping at AT&T stores. Subscribe to In These Times magazine, or make a tax-deductible donation to fund this reporting.