40000-plus AT&T staff threaten to strike Friday

This is the first time that AT&T wireless workers are on strike, which could result in closed retail stores during the weekend, according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor.

He said the contracts at issue Friday cover a small portion of the company's 265,000-person workforce.

CWA members at the store on Venture Drive in Peru picketed, but it was not immediately clear whether any, all or how many employees there were on strike.

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Employees who are on strike say regardless if an agreement is made, they'll be back to work on Monday. 12,000 call center jobs in the U.S. have been eliminated since 2011 as AT&T has chosen to instead contract with third-party vendors overseas that supply low-wage workers who aren't subject to much weaker labor protections.

The CWA was involved in a 45-day strike past year by 40,000 Verizon wireline workers that ended in June. Richardson said he expects about 100 to 200 workers to walk a picket line outside 1 Powell St., AT&T's flagship retail store in the city, Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. The picketting is set to kick off at 3:00PM Eastern time on Friday. "This is a warning to AT&T: there's only one way out of this now-a fair contract-and we'll settle for nothing less". Some 17,000 workers in California and Nevada walked off the job in late March to protest company changes in their working conditions in violation of federal law.

"We've been bargaining with AT&T for over a year", CWA president Chris Shelton told the rally in Silicon Valley. "Coming around, asking, 'How many sales did you make?' They monitor every call, they nitpick every call that we take in there, and it's not a very good morale", said Sofia Simons, secretary for CWA Local 7110. "I've watched our staff shrink from 200 employees down to 130". "We're prepared for a possible strike". Sponsors play no role in editorial content.

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