AT&T workers begin three-day strike


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Local AT&T workers say they want a fair contract that provides wage increases to cover rising insurance costs.

The workers began a three-day strike Friday.

Workers at the Boardman AT&T call center and at retail shops on Mahoning Avenue and South Tiffany Boulevard were all on strike, a union spokeswoman said.

The workers, who are members of Communications Workers of America, are protesting “AT&T’s failure to present serious proposals that invest in good jobs with a future,” the union said in a press release.

The strike includes a majority of AT&T wireless, wireline and DIRECTV workers.

The groups striking represent wireless workers in 36 states and Washington, D.C.; wireline workers in California, Nevada and Connecticut; and DIRECTV technicians in California and Nevada. This is the first time AT&T wireless workers have gone on strike.

“Despite being the largest telecom company in the country with nearly $1 billion a month in profits and the CEO earning $28 million, AT&T continues to pinch its workers’ basic needs and stand in the way of high-quality service its customers pay good money for,” said Dennis Trainor, vice president of CWA District 1, in a statement. “This is a warning to AT&T: There’s only one way out of this now – a fair contract – and we’ll settle for nothing less.”

AT&T workers want bargaining that addresses wage increases that cover rising health care costs, job security against outsourcing, affordable health care and a fair scheduling policy, according to a news release.

AT&T responded by calling the strike baffling.

“We’re offering generous terms in these negotiations including annual wage and pension increases, as well as comprehensive health care benefits, similar to what other employees across the country have ratified in other contracts,” said Holly Hollingsworth, senior public relations manager, corporate communications for AT&T. “We’re confident employees will be better off financially in their new contract.”

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