Union for AT&T workers in Colonie threaten to strike

Workers with the company's wireless division say they are walking off the job because of disputes with their contracts. The telco estimates that the striking workers account for about 13 per cent of its total workforce. The strike is only scheduled to last three days.

The union is also fighting the spread of "authorized retailers", which are run on a non-union franchise basis and maintain notoriously poor working conditions.

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"We are ready to go, but we are hoping that AT&T comes to the table, and that we be on the right track toward reaching an agreement", said Candace Johnson, communications director for the the Communications Workers of America. The union highlighted the outsourcing issue again Friday, noting that AT&T has cut 12,000 USA call-center jobs since 2011.

In Boardman, about 100 workers stood in front of the call center on South Avenue. The company employs 268,540 workers. 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. Another 2,000 are DirecTV workers in California and Nevada.

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Union bargaining across AT&T Mobility is split up across different regions of the country, with different contracts covering different states. Our demands are clear and have been for months: fair contract or strike. We have made every effort to bargain in good faith with AT&T but have been met with delays and excuses.

AT&T has proposed to cut sick time and force long-time workers to pay hundreds of dollars more for basic healthcare, according to CWA. "I voted yes to authorize a strike because I'm willing to do whatever it takes to show AT&T we're serious".

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The two groups' contract negotiations are separate from those of the wireless workers. Sponsors play no role in editorial content.

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