CWA members strike at Cheektowaga AT&T Store

CWA Local 7621 President Dirk Marsden said workers are concerned about the company's "off-shoring" call center and other jobs, compensation plans, and health care. The telco estimates that the striking workers account for about 13 per cent of its total workforce.

The strike comes at a hard time for AT&T's wireless business, which has faced intense pressure since the start of the year from aggressive competitors and apathetic customers. But under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, sitting USA presidents can unilaterally intervene in strikes or even potential strikes that they claim could create a "national emergency" and order workers to end their walkouts and return to work. They are also protesting the company outsourcing jobs. As part of its next contract, the union wants to bar AT&T from changing its commission structure unilaterally.

The union representing the workers said this is the first time the wireless workers have gone on strike and it could be one of the largest strikes in US history. 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. "We're more frustrated than ever with AT+T that they refuse to come to the bargaining table with serious proposals that protect our good jobs".

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Union workers at the AT&T call center in Davenport have joined thousands of fellow employees in a nationwide strike. I'm a single mother and my son is about to graduate. "We're prepared for a possible strike".

Managers across the country have been spreading misinformation and threatening workers with discipline if they participate in the strike, so strong community and labor support on the picket lines will be essential if a walkout occurs. Subscribe to In These Times magazine, or make a tax-deductible donation to fund this reporting.

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