Local AT&T workers join national strike

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A union representing 40,000 AT&T Mobility workers is threatening a nationwide strike this weekend after negotiations with the telco stalled.

CWA Local 7621 President Dirk Marsden said workers are concerned about the company's "off-shoring" call center and other jobs, compensation plans, and health care.

CWA says that workers are demanding AT&T commit to bargaining that addresses wage increases that cover rising healthcare costs, job security against outsourcing, affordable healthcare, and a fair scheduling policy.

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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.

The strikers include as many as 21,000 AT&T wireless workers, including those manning retail stores.

Workers had issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals.

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The AT&T workers are the latest workforce to join the picket line. "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". CEO Randall Stephenson got a raise of several million dollars a year ago, bringing his personal take-home pay up to $28.4 million in 2016. As part of its next contract, the union wants to bar AT&T from changing its commission structure unilaterally. We have made every effort to bargain in good faith with AT&T but have been met with delays and excuses.

The union is also fighting the spread of "authorized retailers", which are run on a non-union franchise basis and maintain notoriously poor working conditions. I'm a single mother and my son is about to graduate.

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

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