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AT&T Workers Go On Strike

AT&T Workers Go On Strike

During an event at the AT&T call center at The Highlands in April, when Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., announced legislation aimed at protecting communications workers' jobs from outsourcing, CWA Local 2006 President Ann Vogler said recent layoffs, combined with a hiring freeze, were on employees' minds.

The wireline and DirecTV workers have been without a new contract for over a year and held a one-day strike in March.

The Communications Workers of America called a three-day strike to protest the almost 13-month period AT&T workers in California and Nevada have been without a contract. The company said that the striking workers account for about 13 percent of its total workforce.

According to the CWA's website the union plans to picket AT&T stores around the country, including one in Austintown, two in Boardman and two in Niles on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The majority of the 21,000 union members in AT&T's wireless operations work at small AT&T Mobility retail shops, employing about a dozen workers on average.

AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the country with $164 billion in sales and 135 million wireless customers nationwide.

"This is the largest walkout in the US since Verizon workers went on strike past year".

AT&T spokesman Mark Giga issued a statement, saying it's "baffling" as to why union leadership would call a strike.

It isn't the first strike at AT&T. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO fully supports the actions of CWA members demanding fair wages, affordable benefits and job security. CWA members also want a reversal of the company's recently changed bonus and incentive pay policy for commissions, which resulted in many employees losing thousands of dollars in take-home pay each year.

Update: As of 3 pm EDT on Friday, 40,000 AT&T employees have gone on strike. If it happens, we will continue working hard to serve our customers. But the company is under increasing pressure on Wall Street to cut costs, as revenue in both its older wired telephone business as well as the once-fast-growing wireless unit have declined.

The union said workers planned to be back on their regular shifts Monday morning.