February 22, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
San Diego, CA – AT&T and the Communications Workers of America agreed Feb. 11 to extend their about-to-expire contract while talks continue.
The contract covers about 21,000 unionized wireless workers in 36 states and the District of Columbia, who had voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. An AT&T spokesperson said the company is “the only major wireless company with a unionized workforce” and is “not proposing to cut anyone’s pay, or take away their benefits.” Key issues for the CWA are outsourcing, both by moving call centers overseas and by hiring non-union field technicians as independent contractors, and the company’s proposal to raise workers’ health-care costs. “We’re demonstrating to let people know that AT&T has a responsibility to keep good, middle-class jobs in the community,” CWA member Roger Pena said at a demonstration outside a company store in San Diego Feb. 11, one of 35 cities where union members held rallies that day. “We’re not looking for the whole pie, we just want a slice. AT&T’s CEO made $17 million last year. We think they can afford a fair contract.” Read more