Communications workers rally in Daytona Beach
Unity at AT&T Mobility

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With contract bargaining beginning in early February 2018, Communication Workers of America members at AT&T Mobility in District 3, AT&T Midwest, and Legacy AT&T held informational pickets at many locations across the country.

Members of CWA, Local 3102, along with fellow labor activists, gathered Monday, January 22 in front of an AT&T Mobility store in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Philip Farruggio, president of the local, said, “the reason we conducted a mobilization effort in front of that AT&T corporate retail store was, first and foremost, that AT&T mobility is getting ready to start bargaining a new contract in District 3, which makes up nine states in the Southeast. We have a message we wanted to convey not only to the company, but to the CWA bargaining team which is that we are united.”

Farruggio added, “We deserve a fair contract. We want that message conveyed. We want the bargaining team to know that we are behind them. We want the company to know that our membership is prepared to mobilize and to strike, if necessary.

“AT&T has also announced roughly 1,600 layoffs of its technicians nationwide, around 290 from the Southeast,” Farruggio said. “Even after the big corporate tax cuts were announced which were supposed to help create jobs, we will continue these mobilization efforts throughout the bargaining process for as long as it takes to let the company know that we will not go quietly into the night.”

As many remember, the moment President Trump signed huge corporate tax cuts into law, AT&T announced that they would be giving out $1,000-dollar bonuses to employees ($3,000 short of Trump’s tax cut promise to working people), generate 7,000 new good paying jobs, and invest over $1 billion dollars back into its infrastructure.

Many of the 7,000 “new jobs” AT&T claims it will be creating are going to come from closing and/or moving call centers (without allowing current employees to relocate to these new centers), reclassifying current employees and creating lower paying positions, hiring contractors and temps, and adding more retail part time positions (while eliminating full time slots). Losing the more senior, more qualified and highly trained union workers will be the true cost of AT&T’s “new jobs.”

CWA released a statement asking what “AT&T Investing $1 Billion dollars means to AT&T employees, when you are eliminating most of the unionized work force to suit bigger profits.”

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CONTRIBUTOR

Joshua Leclair
Joshua Leclair

Josh has worked as a motorcycle mechanic and an organizer for a public sector union in Florida. He is currently active in Central Florida's labor and progressive movements, and is the District Organizer of Florida for the Communist Party. Josh grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL and now resides in Orlando.

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