AT&T workers across the United States were on strike this past weekend and the Valencia store was no exception. Workers in Valencia held a walkout at 12 p.m. on Friday due to frustrations surrounding contract negotiations between the worker’s union and corporate.
The Valencia store was one of at least 23 places in L.A. County that was represented by the local union branch. All of them were on strike and 14 of those stores had to close down for the weekend because they had no one to work.
“They’re cutting our jobs, they’re outsourcing our jobs (and) they’re cutting our benefits,” said 24-year-old AT&T employee Alexis Moreno.
The employees plan to end the strike and return to work on Monday.
The union representing AT&T workers, Communications Workers of America, (CWA) estimates AT&T cut 12,000 call-center jobs since 2011.
CWA is frustrated that AT&T workers have been left without a contract for months and they feel corporate is not being fair in the negotiation for a new one. California was one of 36 states where AT&T workers went on strike.
“There’s like no movement at the (negotiating) table,” said Myesha Glover, a 20-year employee of AT&T.
The absence of a contract has left AT&T workers without the right of arbitration, among other limitations. That means if a workers feels they were wrongfully terminated, they are unable to get a lawyer and fight it.
Union Representative Pandy Allen has worked at AT&T for 42 years and says corporate has never been this difficult in negotiating a new contract with the union.
“Every time we say it can’t get any much worse, it gets worse,” said Allen.
These frustrations left at least 21,000 AT&T wireless workers on strike, according to the union. Twenty of those protesters held a picket line in front of the Valencia AT&T store on Sunday, chanting lines, “Hey, hey, ho, ho corporate greed has got to go,” and “If there is no contract, there is no peace.”
Although no more strikes are planned for the future, there could be the potential for more if the union feels AT&T Mobility is not being fair in the negotiation of a new contract.
“We are never going to give up until AT&T commits at the bargaining table for (a) fair contract,” said Glover.