The following is a message from AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre:
(Feb. 21, 2017) — This month, 21,000 working people at AT&T’s wireless division voted to authorize a strike. It wasn’t an easy choice.
No one wants to go on strike, but they needed to send a message to AT&T because the company is demanding workers do more work for less. Despite making $13 billion in profits last year — and record profits in its wireless division — AT&T has cut more than 8,000 call center jobs and outsourced many of those jobs to low-wage countries.
The company is refusing to stop outsourcing jobs and demanding cuts to benefits. We cannot allow this blatant corporate greed to go unchecked.
I support good jobs and a fair union contract for working people at AT&T Mobility and across your company. The working people at AT&T Mobility helped AT&T earn record profits last year, yet they have seen their commissions cut and health care costs rise.
You met with President Trump recently and discussed how AT&T can help “stimulate job creation in America,” yet you chose to close more than 20 call centers and eliminate more than 8,000 call center jobs in recent years. Some of that work you sent overseas.
You have also outsourced the majority of your retail stores to low-wage third-party dealers, undermining the standards of your own retail employees. If you care about creating good jobs in America, start with your own company.
AT&T’s greed is bad news not only for workers at the company, but for our communities. If AT&T executives are able to get away with this, it will embolden other corporate CEOs to do the same.
AT&T was able to turn a massive profit last year because of the hard work and quality service of retail store workers, call centers representatives and technicians. Instead of sharing in the profits, AT&T seems determined to continue to keep the big compensation packages flowing to its executives, while forcing working people to sacrifice more and more.
Not only do company executives want free rein to outsource more jobs, but they want to force employees to pay more for medical benefits, cut retirement benefits and even reduce employee sick time. Not on our watch.