AT&T Southwest Mobility
At the opening of bargaining this week for more than 8,000 AT&T Southwest Mobility employees in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas, the CWA bargaining team urged AT&T to negotiate a contract that includes wage and benefit improvements and a commitment to keeping good, family-supporting jobs in the region. Workers set up informational picket lines at retail stores and call center locations across the region in support of the bargaining.
Despite record-breaking profits, the company has cut more than 37,000 jobs since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect in 2018, including 4,040 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
"The employees of Mobility handle every technology offered to consumers and play a critical role in AT&T's core business. It's time for the company to stop focusing so much on pumping up its stock price and focus on investing in its employees and the next generation networks that our communities need," said Jason Vellmer, a CWA Staff Representative who is leading the bargaining team.
AT&T has continued to cater to the demands of controversial vulture hedge fund Elliott Management, which purchased a small stake in AT&T in September 2019. Elliott is pushing AT&T to extract profits from the company by eliminating jobs, outsourcing work, and divesting critical assets.
The current contract expires on February 21, 2020.
As bargaining opened yesterday for T-Mobile retail workers in Pinole, Calif., members of CWA and other labor unions gathered outside of the bargaining location to show their support. Addressing the rally, CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce said, "This T-Mobile store in tiny Pinole has set the example for not just T-Mobile, but for the wireless industry to take the next step."
Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendants, members of AFA-CWA, along with labor allies, took the fight for a fair contract to the quarterly Hawaiian Airlines Board of Directors meeting this week. Flight Attendants also demonstrated at six different airports to tell the public about their working conditions and demands for better wages.
"We are now trying to get more members of the larger working community to share our message," Jaci-Ann Chung said. "We live in these communities and it's important to let Hawai'i residents know what is going on."