Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

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

The workers would be joined in their protest by CWA members in AT&T's DirecTV and wireline businesses. He said AT&T sales workers were well paid by industry standards, citing an average of over $68,000 in annual pay and benefits, roughly twice the figure for retail workers as a whole, according to PayScale, a company that tracks salary data.

"This is the largest walkout in the US since Verizon workers went on strike a year ago".

To keep raking in the profits, AT&T has ruthlessly pursued subcontracting of call center work. "We are what help make AT&T the company that it is and, I think, that will get our message across", said Travis Daniel, picketer.

AT&T workers across the country walked off the job to start what could be a three-day strike.

With over 200,000 employees in the U.S, AT&T is the country's largest telecom company.

In March, about 17,000 AT&T wireline workers in California and Nevada went on strike.

"We've been bargaining with AT&T for over a year", CWA president Chris Shelton told the rally in Silicon Valley.

Employees claim the company is demanding more work for less and it is looking to third party dealers and overseas workers.

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.

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

Donald Trump, who at the time was on the campaign trail, tweeted: "Terrible jobs report just reported". The settlement earlier this spring with AT&T South will bring back 3,000 unionized call-center jobs.

As potentially the first national strike of Trump administration, it remains to be seen how the White House would respond if a walkout occurs.

Verizon workers went on strike twice while President Obama was in office, once previous year and for two weeks in August 2011.

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