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Contracts for about 40,000 unionized AT&T landline workers represented by the Communications Workers of America expired over the weekend. Four divisions are governed by separate contracts; 9,000 AT&T Mobility workers ratified a new contract last week.

The landline workers had voted March 31 to authorize a strike if new contracts weren't reached, but they have continued reporting to work under the terms of the now-expired contracts as negotiations continue:

"We’re committed to continuing to work together with the union to reach an agreement that will allow us to continue to provide and protect" jobs, Marty Richter, a spokesman for AT&T, said in an e-mail after 5 p.m. [Sunday.]
On a call late last week with members:
[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."
As is usual in negotiations these days, health care costs are at issue, as well as scheduling and job security questions.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Last I knew (4+ / 0-)

    The different ILEC areas of AT&T had contracts up at different times.  What areas are affected by this?

  •  thanks for the heads-up. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, DRo, wsexson

    Interconnect here, PBX eng. in private practice, @ 30 years in the industry.  Part of my responsibility is dealing with carriers.  

    In the event of a strike, would CWA prefer that we:

    1)  Delay ordering lines & circuits for our clients, to put revenue pressure on AT&T until the strike is resolved?


    2)  Keep placing those orders, on the basis that the management "replacements" won't be able to keep up with the workload and this will translate to pressure to resolve it?

    In the past I've assumed (1) but I'd rather ask than assume.  

    (And this very minute I get something in my inbox about a carrier order that is presently pending...)

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:09:18 AM PDT

    •  I believe during the Verizon strike (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, DRo

      it was 1, but if it comes to a strike, I'll be sure to find out for sure and mention it.

      •  thanks, i'll be keeping an eye open for.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... AT&T / strike diaries as this situation unfolds.  

        And I'll talk to my coworkers about this also, one of whom deals with carrier items on the data side.   Will also use whatever arguement is likely to achieve results with others I know in the industry including a few interconnects we do engineering & tech work for.  

        "Hoo-boy, now's not the time to be placing line orders, AT&T's on strike and it's a mess.  I'd just wait 'til it's over, otherwise something's gonna' screw up, you can count on it..."

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 01:36:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  1 and 2, I think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, G2geek

      I'm one of those AT&T employees who almost went on strike. Conventional wisdom is, I think, not to order new service if you can avoid it, but make the scabs and managers who claim to be able to handle things work their asses off. Call to question your bill, call to complain about noise on your line, call to complain that your DSL is a tad slow. If you're an existing customer, pay your bill and all that, but make the substitutes' lives hell, just like you did back in junior high school.

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:44:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  fortunately they fixed a vexing intermittent... (0+ / 0-)

        ... that was driving one of my clients & I up the wall.  

        To me it sounded like a textbook case of damp short / ring trip.

        It even got worse in the rain, pointing to the underground.

        Turned out to be OE.  

        I kinda' doubt a supervisor could have found that.  But I can't find it in me to make life hell for 'em deliberately.  Got that out of my system when I stopped playing with blue boxes and started working on Ericsson crossbar switches.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:49:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  AT&T should start thinking about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not being the crappiest company on earth. And I don't blame the employees, I blame their policies. Maybe if they paid and trained employees properly they could be decent. I am once again plotting my escape from AT&T.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:18:11 PM PDT

    •  We're not the crappiest on earth (0+ / 0-)

      I think Haiti Telephone and Telegraph gets that title. But I readily concede that we could be a lot better. Current management thinks training is an expense, rather than an investment. They also think they need to move as many jobs as possible to Texas and other right-to-work-for-less states. As a result, the people in Ohio and Wisconsin who've done the job brilliantly for twenty years get surplussed, and the newbies in San Antonio or suburban Dallas are on a learning curve permanently since there's not enough training for them.

      Fortunately, we still make money almost as fast as the US government can print it, so there's no real problem...except at contract negotiation time. Miraculously, AT&T still manages to plead poverty while talking to my union during collective bargaining.

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:53:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SNET was great (0+ / 0-)

        before SBC.  I left after SBC, but before Ameritech merger.

        I heard it was Ameritech that bottomed service out

        •  It was Texas (0+ / 0-)

          I say this as a biased Midwesterner, but the further corporate headquarters got from the Midwest, the worse things got. When I worked for Wisconsin Telephone Company, it was a fine company. It was not as good when we became Ameritech and our corporation was based in suburban Chicago. Then SBC bought out Ameritech, SBC HQ was in San Antonio, Texas, and is what it is. Now we're based in Dallas, and frankly, and I'm sorry to any Texans who read this, but...well, I guess I won't finish the sentence the way I started it.

          The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

          by Korkenzieher on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:04:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The land line employees are considering a strike? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't imagine that landline telephones are a booming business these days.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:21:49 PM PDT

    •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

      They would probably like to phase it out completely. Only my older friends use them and there is such a push to go wireless it becomes tempting.  Some hang on for DSL.

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:44:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You'd be surprised (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Landline isn't just the copper wires going to people's houses for their old-fashioned wired telephone with dial tone. Landline folks like me also are responsible for maintaining high speed digital circuits and the fiber optic network that connects all those cell towers to each other. It's not as busy as it once was, obviously, but it's not going to utterly disappear anytime soon either.

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:56:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can remember when MA Bell was still unbroken (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen dan, DRo, Mannie

    and working for the phone company was, for a blue collar gig, a really good job.  

    "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

    by Keith930 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:28:50 PM PDT

  •  I'm surprised to learn- (0+ / 0-)

    That AT&T had any landline business left. I thought that  the operating telcos got the landlines, back in the day, and AT&T became an equipment vendor.

  •  I Hope None of Those Wires is Hooked to My Land (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:51:06 PM PDT

  •  You diary picture is wrong. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    harrije, GrumpyOldGeek

    Those wires in the picture show that the overhead lines are power lines and not telephone and/or ATT equipment.

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