As contract bargaining opened today with AT&T Southeast covering about 22,000 members, the CWA bargaining team emphasized the need for AT&T to share its record-breaking profits with the people who make it all possible – its employees, CWA members.
Last year, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson pledged to invest $1 billion and create 7,000 new middle-class jobs if Congress passed the corporate tax cut plan. The reality has been much different. The company received a $21 billion windfall from the tax bill and is projecting $3 billion in annual tax savings going forward, but an analysis by CWA based on AT&T’s own quarterly reports shows that AT&T has cut over 23,000 jobs since the tax cut passed. Just before Fathers’ Day weekend, AT&T announced job cuts for nearly 2,000 workers, including 911 in the Southeast.
“If you were to visit any work center or call center across District 3, you would discover that your employees, our members, are not treated with the respect they have earned and deserve,” said CWA Vice President of District 3 Richard Honeycutt in opening remarks to the company. “As far as mutual responsibility, this has unfortunately become a one-way street.”
Though the company claims that these recent job cuts are a result of a lack of work to be done, AT&T has increasingly turned to contractors to perform CWA members’ work in call centers and in the field.
“We start this bargaining session demanding AT&T to show our hard-working members the respect and loyalty they deserve. This can be done through better wages, benefits, improved work rules, and job security. Give work to your employees – CWA members – not the employees of other companies.”
The current contract for CWA members at AT&T Southeast expires on August 3, 2019.