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AT&T Communications The Almighty Buck United States

More Than 20,000 AT&T Workers Are Getting Ready To Protest Nationwide (fortune.com) 73

Aaron Pressman, reporting for Fortune: Some 21,000 workers in AT&T's wireless business have overwhelming voted to authorize a strike just ahead of the expiration of their contract on Saturday. The vote, which was expected, comes after 17,000 additional workers in AT&T's phone, internet, and cable services in Nevada and California also approved a strike authorization last month. They have been working without a contract since April. But despite the strike authorization votes -- a common tactic to increase pressure on management during labor negotiations -- AT&T said it was still seeking to find common ground with its workers. Unlike some of its peers, AT&T has had a long run of labor peace with its workers and their main union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
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More Than 20,000 AT&T Workers Are Getting Ready To Protest Nationwide

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  • Labor strikes didn't even work very well when our nation was lead by a "liberal" president. Now we are lead by a maniac who prides himself in not paying workers. Where do these guys expect to get support from when AT&T moves to fire them? Anyone who has been involved in the job market in any way, shape or form in the past 2-5 years knows the situation is vastly worse for the worker than any part of government (of any stripe) will say.

    These workers will be canned, blacklisted, and replaced by youn
    • These workers will be canned, blacklisted, and replaced by younger people willing to work for vastly less - all in under a week. The official message from our dear government after that (disseminated by the "terrible media" that the same government claims to hate so much) will be that it is all the fault of the workers and their union.

      These are the people that work on the POTS network.
      Perhaps if AT&T had thought ahead and moved to fiber end-to-end years ago, this wouldn't be an issue.
      However, they still have tons of copper in the ground, and you're not going to find someone at a job fair that knows how to deal with that.

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@COLAtpno-co.org minus caffeine> on Friday February 10, 2017 @02:22PM (#53840993) Homepage

    I can't stand AT&T or unions, so this is nothing but entertaining to me.

    Actually, strike that; I hope both lose.

    • Haters going to hate
    • I thought AT&T was too busy screwing their customers to be distracted with screwing their employees too.
      • Whoa.. The number one lesson of industry is that no company that has a bad customer relationship treats its own people any better..

    • by weave ( 48069 )

      And this is yet another reason why the middle class has been dying. In the old days people would support each other even if this time it wasn't their own job on strike.

      But now it's like no one gives a shit about anyone else but themselves so we are all weaker as a result.

      • by Imrik ( 148191 )

        I supported unions until I saw union workers "working" and heard about the workers that the unions' lawyers were and were not defending.

        • by weave ( 48069 )

          I used to work for a union and I helped organize a grocery store -- Jewel T -- in Philly area in the early 80s. They had just ventured into the northeast market from Chicago at the time. I organized one small store of 10 people. And to avoid going union the chain closed down EVERY FUCKING STORE IN THE ENTIRE REGION and moved out of the region. To this day Jewel has not re-entered this market. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people lost their jobs. I felt horrible, and my boss's response was "good, at le

          • Flip side: US labor law is really, really terrible. It isn't particularly good for employees, and it's no great help to employers. It's very good at organizing political activism and enriching union bosses. I can see why they might have done this.
      • I support competent workers with a strong work ethic...which is precisely why I don't support unions. Having joined unions in two separate industries ( well, conscripted is more the right term as I didn't have a choice of the matter ), I saw just what "supporting each other" amounted to. The least competent, least ethical, workers were protected from any disciplinary action...ever, and as a result gained seniority. New folks would start and be full of energy and ideas, ready to work hard and make a diff

  • The only thing more frightening than the thought that Slashdot editors don't read summaries before they publish them is the thought that they do....

  • AT&T is making billions, thanks in part to the Union workers. They don't need concessions, they need to share the wealth.
  • Strike (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @03:58PM (#53841905)

    If they're calling for a strike, then it isn't something trivial.

    Everyone is quick to judge them, yet have zero information about what the contract is offering or what the issues are.

    I WORK for AT&T and this article on Slashdot is the first news I have heard on the matter. ( I fall under wireline vs wireless, though our contract is also up this year )

    For those who have not worked for a Union company, let me brief you on a few things.

    You cannot negotiate any part of your job with the company. Salary, benefits, time off, nothing. All of it is done from the Union.

    Our last contract, the healthcare premium increase effectively erased the mediocre raise we got. ( ~1 - 1.5% a year )

    The company no longer trains non-management employees ( I haven't seen any training for more than a decade ) for the equipment they're responsible for.
    The newer folks are supposed to learn from the veteran techs. ( Who carry the job most of the time )

    So you're effectively on your own to learn it. I am one of three people with a Cisco Cert ( my vacation time, my money to obtain it ) on my team and have full blown enable access to damn near every router and switch in the company. All the way up to the Core level systems.

    Think about that for a moment. The vast majority of my team has the same level of access and exactly ZERO formal training on any of it and the company could give two shits about it.

    Training, healthcare costs and a raise that isn't laughable are usually the big issues that Strikes are born from. It's not that the company can't afford it, they just take their workforce for granted and think all this stuff just magically works on its own somehow. :|

    Oh and for those who think you can replace everyone with just anyone off the street at a lower wage, it typically takes at least two years ( a year for the ultra-motivated ) for an already qualified someone to become proficient enough at their work to do so without help. Unless, of course, you think these folks are just born with innate knowledge of how specialized telecom hardware works and integrates with the other systems.

    If that were the case, the company would have replaced everyone a long time ago.

    So don't judge those considering a strike too harshly just yet. At least until we know what their reasons are.

    • by Cramer ( 69040 )

      specialized telecom hardware... you mean the library of arcane AT&T procedures for doing almost anything? THAT is what takes a long time to learn. How to actually use the various types of hardware is something a great many people will already know.

  • I'm quite proud to have written software to automate locking out striking union members from various systems at the push of a button over a decade ago for a certain checkmarked telecom.

    Granted, the code was a spaghetti mess based on bad design requirements that took limited advantage of technology available at the time. And the tech at the time also sucked. I'd totally re-write it completely different now-a-days, and it would be BEAUTIFUL! Even despite the stupid design requirements.

    F Unions!

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray