The 22,000 AT&T Mobility workers covered by the Orange contract held their first ever strike, standing up to AT&T’s failure to present serious bargaining proposals that deal with the company’s attacks on good jobs. Mobility workers protested AT&T’s outsourcing of jobs to low-wage third-party vendors, its offshoring of Call Center jobs and its changes in compensation and commission that have hit retail workers especially hard.
Across the U.S., Mobility workers in 36 states walked picket lines in front of stores and call centers for three days, and expressed frustration over the actions of the company that brings in nearly $1 billion a month in profits.
“AT&T’s bargaining tactics show the lack of respect for the very workers who help them make their billions,” said Cheryce Chambers, a retail store worker in New York. "Striking is never an easy choice but my neighbors, my son, and my community deserve better.”
As negotiations continue, CWA members and allies are keeping the heat on AT&T. A new report that received a lot of media attention spotlighted the company’s elimination of 12,000 Call Center jobs in the U.S. since 2011, sending jobs instead to countries with low wages and weak labor protections.
Another investigation looked at AT&T’s outsourcing of retail jobs to third-party cell phone dealers, where the focus seems to be on pumping up sales, not providing quality service.
The Orange contract Mobility workers are working without a contract as negotiations continue. AT&T Mobility workers in Districts 3, 6, and in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are covered by different contracts. Read more about the fight for a fair contract at unityatmobility.org.
CWA members at AT&T Southwest ratified a four-year contract that provides pay raises, affordable healthcare, and enhanced benefits. A key provision commits AT&T to bring 3,000 jobs, the majority of which are now offshore, into District 6 bargaining units.
The contract preserves retirement options, expands tuition reimbursement, adds new training and education opportunities, and provides for paid parental leave, among other improvements. It also included a $1,000 payment on ratification.
The agreement covers 20,000 AT&T workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. CWA members and locals mobilized throughout the bargaiing process, determined to win a fair contract.
A tentative agreement covering 17,000 workers at AT&T West and DIRECTV in California and Nevada failed to ratify in a mail vote counted July 6. CWA notified the company and is working on next steps.
CWAers at AT&T East, members of Local 1298, ratified a new contract covering about 200 workers that protects jobs, health care, and living standards.
The four-year contract provides for pay raises of 10.75 percent over the contract term, improvements in employment security, continued affordable healthcare, increased standby pay and other differential pay, and other improvements for AT&T East workers in Connecticut.