The union that represents AT&T workers said thousands of its members will walk off their jobs at 3 p.m. today to start what could be a three-day strike if the company does not "come up with serious proposals at the bargaining table" by then.
The wireline and DirecTV workers have been without a new contract for over a year and held a one-day strike in March.
AT&T Wireless workers in ME are joining a nationwide strike by the Communications Workers of America against the company in an attempt to win better terms in stalled contract negotiations.
"This would be the first time AT&T Mobility workers go on strike, potentially disrupting a large number of retail stores across the country this weekend", CWA said. Master said the company had rebuffed a request for data that would clarify the extent of the practice and other changes to its workforce.
"They're trying to close up corporate stores to open up authorized retailer stores". The union highlighted the outsourcing issue again Friday, noting that AT&T has cut 12,000 US call-center jobs since 2011. It's now in AT&T's hands to stand with workers or at 3 p.m.
The workers have demanded affordable benefits, fair wages and job security.
"This is the largest walkout in the US since Verizon workers went on strike a year ago".
The relocation of jobs to call centers in Mexico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and other countries is one of the main issues in negotiations.
Employees claim the company is demanding more work for less and it is looking to third party dealers and overseas workers.
Giga added that the strike involves less than 14 percent of AT&T's employees.
We're prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers. "We're all family, whether you're a union member or not", an AT&T spokesman said. 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.
As at most telecommunications companies, AT&T's wireless business is growing faster and is more profitable than its wireline side.