In latest bargaining round for nationwide AT&T wireless contract,
AT&T Workers Hold the Line on End to Outsourcing and Offshoring, 38,000 Wireless and Wireline Workers Unite Fight for Good Jobs
Sen. Sherrod Brown and Reps. Pocan, Schakowsky and Norcross call on AT&T executives to support good jobs in USA
NATIONWIDE – As AT&T workers refuse to back down from their demands that the company end offshoring and outsourcing, wireless, wireline and DirecTV workers across the country announced they will unite their fights for good jobs. For AT&T, that means more than 38,000 workers nationwide are together calling on the company to invest in its core workforce that helps it bring in over $1 billion a month in profits.
Under a contract extension that can be terminated with 72 hours’ notice, workers will continue to bargain with the expectationthat AT&T executives will come to the table with good faith proposals that protect family-supporting American jobs and invest in the country where customers have made the company a $250 billion telecom giant.
“To date, AT&T executives have been making proposals that are insulting to American workers and customers alike,” said James Stiffey, a retail worker from Pittsburgh, PA. “We’re ready to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract that protects us from cuts to the jobs and benefits our families rely on and call on AT&T to come to the table with contract proposals that show they are serious about good jobs and quality customer service.”
After AT&T wireless workers voted by a 93 percent margin to authorize a strike if it becomes necessary, hundreds of retail and call center workers and field technicians joined rallies outside stores and call centers in 36 cities this weekend. In cities from New York to Chicago to Sacramento, AT&T workers called on the company to support their workforce with a fair contract that ends offshoring and outsourcing and supports high quality customer service.
While AT&T’s profits keep growing, it has cut more than 8,000 call center jobs and offshored thousands of jobs to Mexico, the Philippines, India, the Dominican Republic and other countries.In the past few years, AT&T has also outsourced the operation of more than 60% of its wireless retail stores to low-wage, low-quality 3rd party dealers.
Outraged at AT&T’s decisions and latest contract proposals, members of Congress are calling on company executives to support good, middle-class jobs. Recently, seven U.S. Senatorssent a letter to President Trump encouraging the Trump Administration to take action to help protect and bring call center jobs back to the U.S.
“Our communications workers keep Ohioans connected with their families, neighbors, and the rest of the world,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), whose state hosts a largewireless call center in Boardman, Ohio, and 16 retail stores run by more than 860 workers. “I urge AT&T and the Communications Workers of America to reach an agreement that will keep jobs in the U.S. and ensure customers continue to receive the same standards of service.”
Reps. Mark Pocan (WI), Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Donald Norcross (NJ) said on Friday, “AT&T wireless workers are helping AT&T earn more than $1 billion a month. Strangely, these workers are being asked to swallow significant benefit cuts, and have their paid leave days cut. That’s not what a leading, profitable U.S. company does. We hope that all sides will bargain in good faith and that an equitable outcome for these workers is achieved.”
More than 17,000 workers in California and Nevada who support landline phone and broadband internet have been working without a contract for nearly one year. After voting to go on strike with more than 95 percent support, AT&T wireline workers have gathered at major state freeway overpasses to protest the company’s ongoing attempts to squeeze customers and employees.
“AT&T workers – whether they work for the wireless, wireline or DirecTV divisions – are calling on AT&T to support good, family-supporting jobs. It is a righteous fight that we are proud to support,” Dennis Trainor, Vice President of CWA District 1. “Workers are making it clear and uniting together as one movement—we won’t rest until AT&T stops outsourcing and offshoring thousands of call center, retail and technician jobs in communities and cities across the country.”
Last year, CWA members at Verizon were on strike for 49 days, finally gaining a strong contract that created and protected good jobs. During the strike, Verizon’s approval ratings were at a three-year low while analysts and media regularly remarked on the reputational damage facing Verizon.