AT&T workers went on strike Friday in Philadelphia and other cities in Pennsylvania to protest the company's failure to negotiate in good faith a new contract.
On Tuesday, May 16, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) informed members that if an agreement hadn't been reached by Friday afternoon, they should set up picket lines and remain on strike through the weekend.
"We will continue working hard to serve our customers", said AT&T spokesman Marty Richter, who declined to estimate potential store closures but said the company will "be open for business". "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".
The strike against AT&T started at 3 p.m.
Wireline workers, who work in phone, landline and cable services businesses in California, Nevada, and CT, and DirecTV technicians across California and Nevada have also joined the strike. "We are what help make AT&T the company that it is and, I think, that will get our message across", said Travis Daniel, picketer.
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The majority of the 21,000 union members in AT&T's wireless operations work at small AT&T Mobility retail shops, employing about a dozen workers on average. "The contracts together involve only about 13 percent of our employees". The company has refused to move on any of a long list of union demands around pay, health care costs, performance incentives and outsourcing of jobs.
"This is the largest walkout in the USA since Verizon workers went on strike previous year".
It isn't the first strike at AT&T.
Frustrated over the lack of progress in contract talks, more than 17,000 AT&T union members in California and Nevada walked off their jobs on Friday.
"AT&T doesn't want to bargain with us, so we're taking a stand". The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO fully supports the actions of CWA members demanding fair wages, affordable benefits and job security.
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"This may be the largest retail strike in USA history".
In Boardman, about 100 workers stood in front of the call center on South Avenue.
The strike is expected to end Sunday evening, with workers returning to the job Monday.
One of Trump's main campaign promises was to bring back jobs.
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