About 17,000 AT&T workers launched a strike in California and Nevada on Wednesday - including thousands in Sonoma County and elsewhere in the Bay Area - in response to failed labor negotiations that have been ongoing for about a year.
The workers are customer service representatives and technicians and they're picking call centers and offices in the two states.
The California and Nevada workers "are some of the most highly paid union-represented employees in the company, and that will not change", AT&T also said. Under the National Labor Relations Act, employers must refrain from unilateral action in matters that are subject to bargaining "and from making changes in terms and conditions of employment without consulting the employees' representative", the NLRB explains.
The strike follows almost a year of employees - part of AT&T's wireline division - struggling through contract negotiations with the carrier.
Unlike competitor Verizon, which was hit with a bitter seven-week strike previous year, AT&T has seen a lengthy period of constructive dealings with the CWA and other unions. The company says it has the most full-time, union-represented employees in America, and that it has reached 28 labor agreements since 2015 covering "nearly 123,000 employees".
AT&T workers in California and Nevada have been working under an expired contract for nearly a year. "We will be outside in all of California and Nevada until the company resolves this issue", Bordeaux said. "AT&T technicians work around the clock to make sure our customers get the high-quality service they need and depend on, and we are building AT&T's billions of dollars in profits", he said.
Nationwide, more than 21,000 AT&T wireless customer service and field workers are working under a contract extension that can be terminated with 72 hours' notice as they continue to bargain with the company.
"In the last week, wireless workers have intensified their calls on AT&T executives to end offshoring and outsourcing and have joined rallies and pickets coast to coast demanding good jobs that support their families and quality customer service", the union said.
It was unclear whether Wednesday's strike was affecting service for AT&T landline customers.
Joining technicians in the strike are call center workers.
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