Striking workers could close AT&T stores in New Jersey

Employees of the AT&T call center in Pueblo walk off the job at 1 p.m

- The Communications Workers of America union says that up to 40,000 AT&T workers have started walking off the job over contract fights with the phone company.

They represent four different union contracts and include wireless workers in 36 states and D.C., the union said.

That includes the 19,000 line and cable workers in California, Nevada and CT and the DirecTV technicians who will also be walking picket lines over the weekend if they don't get a new contract.

Union workers at the AT&T call center in Davenport have joined thousands of fellow employees in a nationwide strike.

"We're walking off the job today because AT&T has every means available to support its core workforce and the customers who help make them $1 billion a month in profits, but chooses to undercut us at every turn", James Stiffey, an AT&T wireless worker from Pittsburgh, said in a statement.

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But AT&T is under pressure from Wall Street to cut costs after its recent acquisition of Time Warner Cable for a whopping $85 billion-it also took on huge amounts of that company's debt.

"They're trying to close up corporate stores to open up authorized retailer stores".

"This would be the first time AT&T Mobility workers go on strike, potentially disrupting a large number of retail stores across the country this weekend", CWA said.

The AT&T workers are the latest to join the picket line - following in the footsteps of 1,700 Charter Communications field techs and almost 150 Long Island Teamsters. "This is a warning to AT&T: there's only one way out of this now-a fair contract-and we'll settle for nothing less".

During an event at the AT&T call center at The Highlands in April, when Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., announced legislation aimed at protecting communications workers' jobs from outsourcing, CWA Local 2006 President Ann Vogler said recent layoffs, combined with a hiring freeze, were on employees' minds. It's about time we stand up to receive better and affordable healthcare, a fair scheduling policy and overall wage increase. "Even my son will be out there with me".

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