AT&T Workers Across 36 States Began 3-Day Strike Friday

CWA workers in Harrisburg begin weekend strike againstĀ AT&T

The workers are members of the Communications Workers of America and represent four different union contracts: wireless workers in 36 states and Washington, D.C.; wireline workers in California, Nevada and CT; and DIRECTV technicians in California and Nevada.

A statement by AT&T Friday called the company a family, adding, "Like any family we have our disagreements, but we'll sort them out".

The strike is set to last through the weekend.

Local AT&T workers say they are overworked and underpaid, and that the company refuses to negotiate fair contracts after nearly 13 months.

AT&T spokesman Marty Richter expressed shock over the strike.

The strike includes DirecTV technicians in California and Nevada.

"This is the largest walkout in the USA since Verizon workers went on strike a year ago". Nevertheless, the biggest issues for workers remained unresolved.

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"Going on strike is a decision that is not made lightly", the CWA said in a message distributed to the workers. At a huge April rally in Silicon Valley, CWA District 9 vice president Tom Runnion fumed, "The CEO of AT&T just got a raise and now makes over $12,000 an hour".

Earlier this month, the AT&T workers took a page out of the Verizon vz worker's strategy for highlighting the issue of outsourcing. Those employees have been negotiating over a contract for more than a year.

"What's most important is we're all family, whether you're a union member or not", he wrote in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Employees also reported that AT&T was increasingly forcing them to pay their healthcare costs. The PayScale report mentions that AT&T sales personnel receive roughly $68,000 worth of wages and benefits per year. "They can easily afford to do what people want and instead are continuing to send jobs overseas".

AT&T has eliminated 12,000 USA call center jobs since 2011, and now employs 38 third-party call centers in eight countries, CWA says. This will be the first time the members will be walking out from AT&T mobility. "We want a new contract and one that is fair". The CWA also accused AT&T of diverting retail jobs to third-party stores, which it does not own.

AT&T Wireless workers - some 21,000 of them - have given management until Friday, May 19 at 3 p.m. ET to come to the table with "serious proposals that invest in good jobs with a future". "Even my son will be out there with me". This weekend the CWA and the UAW are sending AT&T a message that we are united and ready to fight.