AT&T It Helps Us When We Dont Pay You

Dave Johnson

Some news you may have missed: Last week thousands of AT&T workers walked out in protest of AT&T’s lack of progress in contract negotiations, aggravated by a mocking memo from an AT&T executive.

We Party Patriots: Thousands of AT&T Technicians Stage One Day Walk Out in Nevada, California,

Last week, thousands of AT&T technicians and call center workers at more than 100 sites in Nevada and California staged a walk out to protest an unresolved contract dispute and a memo sent by AT&T Vice President Betsy Farrel. The well-orchestrated mass action comes as several months of negotiations between the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the company remain stagnant. From the Contra Costa Times, which got a copy of the memo:

In the memo, which was obtained by this paper, AT&T Vice President Betsy Farrell complained that recent “union activity has caused some of you to make a choice not to serve our customers. Given comments I have heard from many of you regarding the importance of providing good customer service, I’m a bit puzzled about why you would leave customers without service we committed we would provide them.

“The company doesn’t suffer. In fact, these actions help us financially when we don’t pay you.”

AT&T officials refused to comment on the memo, but CWA spokeswoman Libby Sayre responded on behalf of the workers:

“It’s a slap in the face. These guys work very hard to provide quality customer service; they don’t need a lot of insults and provocation.”

More from the Contra Costa Times: AT&T workers walk off the job,

Thousands of AT&T technicians and call center workers at more than 100 sites in California and Nevada walked off the job Friday to protest what a union spokesman called an “insulting” memo from an AT&T vice president.

The Communications Workers of America said “thousands” joined the protest, which comes during negotiations of a contract that expired in April. Workers in Oakland carried picket signs protesting the AT&T vice president who they said wrote the memo.

And the LA Times: AT&T workers walk out in California, Nevada

Thousands of AT&T Inc. workers in California and Nevada have walked off their jobs, the latest development in an acrimonious contract negotiation that has dragged on for months.

AT&T land-line workers in hundreds of locations protested AT&T’s contract demands, which they said included “massive healthcare cost shifting to workers and their families” as well as reductions in AT&T worker retirement security, according to the Communications Workers of America, the union to which the employees belong.

That contract for 40,000 AT&T workers around the U.S. expired two months ago, and the company and the CWA have failed to reach a new accord. The CWA’s ninth district, which includes California and Nevada, covers 18,000 AT&T technicians who install and repair telephone lines.

[. . .] In April, national CWA Vice President Ralph Maly addressed AT&T’s annual shareholder meeting, saying that “despite AT&T’s continued success and profitability, despite its position as the nation’s biggest telecommunications company and the top 10 ranking among U.S. companies overall, members are being told they must sacrifice more.”

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