The southern United States is not known as a bastion of union strength or worker power, but 20,000 AT&T workers across nine states are on strike this week. The workers’ union, the Communications Workers of America, has been trying to negotiate a new contract with AT&T and, with negotiations having broken down, has said the company is not bargaining in good faith.
“AT&T does not understand that CWA is prepared to bargain and is prepared to make a deal that benefits our members and AT&T,” CWA District 3 wrote in a statement on Friday. “It turns out that for over three months, we have been bargaining with people who do not have the real authority to make proposals or to reach an agreement with us.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders joined workers on a picket line in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday, telling them, “I want you to know that millions of American workers are standing with you today. Because what you are going through is exactly what they are going through. I’m proud to be here with you and what you’re doing is what needs to take place all over this country. Working people need to stand up and tell corporate America; enough is enough.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden also tweeted support for the workers.
AT&T got a massive tax break from the Republican tax law, and claimed it would invest in U.S. jobs, only to turn around and cut 23,000 jobs.