Union for AT&T workers in Colonie threaten to strike

Alicia Cross
May 20, 2017

Dennis Trainor, Vice President of CWA District 1, said in a union statement that "we have made every effort to bargain in good faith with AT&T, but have only been met with delays and excuses". Tens of thousands are expected to strike across the nation. If an agreement can't be reached quickly, retail stores in several states will likely shut down this weekend as well.

Members of the local CWA Union say they want a 2% pay increase to cover increased health care costs, better job security and a change in holiday pay among other requests. "Workers are also protesting AT&T's pervasive outsourcing of jobs to low-wage contractors, which eliminates good jobs and hurts customer service". 12,000 call center jobs in the USA have been eliminated since 2011 as AT&T has chosen to instead contract with third-party vendors overseas that supply low-wage workers who aren't subject to much weaker labor protections.

Organizers with the Communications Workers of America are planning to hold a rally Friday afternoon outside of the AT&T store on Central Avenue in Colonie as the company's unionized workers appear headed for a possible strike.

Union bargaining across AT&T Mobility is split up across different regions of the country, with different contracts covering different states.

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The strikers include as many as 21,000 AT&T wireless workers, including those manning retail stores.

"This is a warning to AT&T: there's only one way out of this now - a fair contract". The picketting is set to kick off at 3:00PM Eastern time on Friday. "I've watched our staff shrink from 200 employees down to 130".

We have systematically and thoroughly prepared for a potential work stoppage, and we have a substantial contingency workforce of well-trained managers and vendors in place. Subscribe to In These Times magazine, or make a tax-deductible donation to fund this reporting.

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