On the one-year anniversary of their contract expiration, 800 AT&T West workers took to the streets to march against corporate greed and rally for a fair contract.
Gathering around one of the busiest intersections in San Jose, CA – right outside an AT&T Mobility store – CWA activists demonstrated that they are all in this fight together. Technicians, customer service representatives, Mobility workers, DIRECTV workers, and retirees lined the sidewalks, waving CWA STRONG signs and chanting, "More work, low pay, no way!" Locals from Southern California even made a 12-hour roundtrip bus ride to be at the action last Sunday.
"We need to show them that the members in District 9 – all 17,000 of them, not just the folks that are here today – care what happens to their contract. And they are willing to work. And they are willing to go out in the streets and convince the public and the politicians in the state of California and the state of Nevada to go out and do the right thing," said CWA President Chris Shelton.
Participating CWA Locals included 9003, 9119, 9333, 9400, 9404, 9408, 9409, 9410, 9411, 9412, 9414, 9415, 9417, 9421, 9423, 9505, 9510, 9511, and 59051.
Allies from AFT, IBEW, Machinists, Teamsters, and Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and the Transportation Workers (SMART) also turned out. Community supporters honked their horns as they drove by. Santa Clara County Supervisors Dave Cortese and Cindy Chavez, as well as South Bay Labor Council Executive Officer Ben Field, and other elected officials spoke at the demonstration, commending CWAers for standing up for good jobs and our communities.
"Enough is enough. We're fighting to save our middle class jobs," said District 9 Vice President Tom Runnion. "The CEO of AT&T just got a raise this last year. He now makes over $12,000 an hour. Can you believe that? And he doesn't want to give you a raise. He doesn't want you to have the health care you have. And he wants you to pay more for it."
Scenes from the San Jose rally: more than 800 CWAers, plus kids, friends, and allies, marched and leafleted outside the AT&T Mobility store. CWA President Chris Shelton and VP Tom Runnion (pictured left column, middle photo) were among the speakers who fired up the crowd.
CWA members at AT&T Southwest ratified a four-year contract that provides pay raises, affordable healthcare and enhanced benefits. A key provision commits AT&T to bring 3,000 jobs, the majority of which are now offshore, into District 6 bargaining units.
The contract provides for a wage increase of 10.75 percent, expands tuition reimbursement and paid parental leave, and included a $1,000 payment on ratification.
The agreement covers 20,000 AT&T workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
CWA District 6 Vice President Cummings thanked members for their mobilization and actions that made all the difference in bargaining. "I am extremely proud of the work accomplished by our bargaining committee and very grateful for the job they have done for our members," he said. "My thanks also go to CWA President Chris Shelton for his support and assistance throughout these negotiations."
Mobility members are mobilizing, putting the pressure on AT&T to bargain a fair contract. Clockwise from top left: Local 1101; Local 2204; Local 7777; Local 1298; Local 7777, and Local 1118.