AT&T contract negotiations have gone into overtime, but so has mobilization by CWA members and allies.
As the CWA News went to press June 18, separate negotiations are continuing covering CWA members in District 4, AT&T Midwest; District 9, AT&T West; Telecommunications and Technologies, AT&T Legacy, and District 1, AT&T East.
CWA Vice President Seth Rosen summed up the goals of all four negotiations: “We have a very clear common goal that when it is all added up — wages, benefits, the complete package — that every single member, from the lowest paid to the highest, will be better off at the end of the contract than he or she was at the beginning.”
In California and Nevada, thousands of CWA members joined in a one-day unfair labor practice strike, protesting a statement by AT&T West management that threatened workers over “union activity.”
In D1, members of Local 1298 joined with Common Cause, Connecticut Working Families and other advocacy groups to call on corporations, including AT&T, to sever ties with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative lobbying group that finances attacks on bargaining rights, voter rights and other measures in state legislatures harmful to workers and citizens.
D9 members also are calling on AT&T to drop its support of ALEC, and members have been leafleting at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Oakland’s Coliseum to make sure the public knows that AT&T=Corporate Greed, and holding rallies throughout the district.
Jane Philips, an activist with CWA Local 4900, said inside workers were holding “standups” and wearing bandages and using crutches to stress that “cutting health care is a sick idea.” Outside techs are “honking off“ the company, and everyone wears red, except when they wear black. “We need to stand strong and stand together!”
T&T activists and other supporters mobilized for AT&T annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, calling for good jobs and fair contracts and reminding AT&T that “we are the network.”
Bargaining gets underway this month for a new contract covering 24,000 District 3 CWAers at AT&T Southeast; the current agreement expires Aug.4. The contract covering 22,000 District 6 members expires next April.