Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

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

Picket lines went up Friday afternoon at the AT&T call center on South Avenue in Boardman as members of the Communication Workers of America joined 40,000 other workers around the nation on a three-day strike.

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 telco estimates that the striking workers account for about 13 per cent of its total workforce. 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.

"A strike is in no one's best interest, and it's baffling as to why union leadership would call one when we're offering terms in which our employees in these contracts. will be better off financially", AT&T spokesman Marty Richter told Reuters.

Dennis Trainor, Vice President of CWA District 1, said in a union statement that "we have made every effort to bargain in good faith with AT&T, but have only been met with delays and excuses". It's now in AT&T's hands to stand with workers or at 3 p.m.

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 USA call-center jobs with contractors hired overseas. "If the strike is called at 2p.m". The company has refused to move on any of a long list of union demands around pay, health care costs, performance incentives and outsourcing of jobs.

This is a strike happening with over 40,000 AT&T employees across the country. We're fighting for job security, that's the biggest thing.

AT&T officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment but earlier this week said the company offers generous wage and pension benefits. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor. If it happens, we will continue working hard to serve our customers. But under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, sitting USA presidents can unilaterally intervene in strikes or even potential strikes that they claim could create a "national emergency" and order workers to end their walkouts and return to work.

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