CALIFORNIA, NEVADA (KXNT) – One of AT&T’s slogans is “Mobilizing Your World.” Now, it appears some 17,000 of the company’s workers are mobilizing on the sidewalks in parts of California and Nevada.
Thousands of AT&T technicians and call center staff in the two states went on a grievance strike Wednesday morning in protest of what they’re calling the company’s illegal actions. Workers said the company has shown disrespect to the bargaining process by changing the work assignments of workers without bargaining as required by federal law.
Workers also said AT&T reneged on an agreement to resolve the dispute without any explanation. The workers are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
The striking workers also claim that as talks drag on to settle a new contract, AT&T has been violating the current terms and conditions of employment by forcing technicians on the West Coast to do work that is outside their areas of expertise and threatening their ability to deliver the best services for their customers.
AT&T management has not yet released a statement.
“We are on strike today because AT&T is hurting us all by violating their bargaining obligations with the union,” said Robinson Paiz, a maintenance splicer from Los Angeles who is on strike today and who has worked for AT&T for 17 years. “AT&T technicians work around the clock to make sure our customers get the high-quality service they need and depend on, and we are building AT&T’s billions of dollars in profits,” he said.
Workers are on strike and picketing at AT&T call centers and offices throughout California and Nevada, with major picket lines in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
“We don’t want to let our customers down, but AT&T left us with no choice,” said Paiz. “AT&T needs to get serious and honor its contract with us so we can keep servicing our customers,” he said.
The strike comes as the workers bargain with the company for a new contract and have been working without a contract for nearly a year. In addition, approximately 2,200 DIRECTV satellite warehouse workers in California and Nevada joined CWA in April 2016 and are in negotiations with AT&T for a first contract.