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20 May 2017, 12:08 | Rodolfo Wallace
AT&T Mobility is one of the single largest retail workforces with union representation anywhere in the U.S. numerous 100,000 members are recently organized after CWA scored victories under "bargaining to organize" agreements with the company, which allowed for speedy representation elections. It has eliminated 12,000 call center jobs in the United States since 2011, representing more than 30 percent of its call center employees, and closed more than 30 call centers. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO fully supports the actions of CWA members demanding fair wages, affordable benefits and job security.
"At the end of the day, this is about good jobs", said Robert Master, a union official.
Across other regions, the CWA has already succeeded in making the creation of unionized call-center jobs a key part of its bargaining strategy after the seven-week Verizon strike in 2016 achieved 1,700 guaranteed union jobs.
"AT&T doesn't want to bargain with us, so we're taking a stand".
In the months that followed, that jobs report was revised down to say that just 24,000 jobs were added in May of previous year. 12,000 call center jobs in the U.S. 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.
The strike involves less than 14% of AT&T's workforce, the company said.
Communications Workers of America members employed at AT&T facilities went on strike at 2 p.m. AT&T worker Nicole Popis told People's World that she and her coworkers were ready to do "whatever it takes" to get a fair contract.
Just over half of the employees work for the company's wireless business, primarily in call centers and retail stores, and have been without a long-term contract since February. If an agreement can't be reached quickly, retail stores in several states will likely shut down this weekend as well.
Union officials say there are 50-60 CWA members at AT&T stores in Maine. "Even my son will be out there with me".
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