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Communications workers of America
Employees hold local protest
A little over a dozen AT&T and labor union employees gathered outside the AT&T store on West Henderson Avenue waiving signs and voicing their frustrations over what they say is the telecommunications conglomerate not giving them a fair contract.
One such employee was Zachary Couch, the first vice president of the Communications Workers of America.
Couch, who represents AT&T and other communication organization members in the Central Valley, said so far he and others have been going to different stores once a week protesting what he says is unfair treatment by AT&T.
“We are just trying to get the mobility side of AT&T a fair contract,” Couch said. “Mobility, from our point of view, haven’t had a fair contract since the inception and we are just trying to get the ball rolling for the state of California, Nevada and Hawaii and we are trying to get them moving and getting these members what they deserve.”
Couch said other contracts AT&T is slowly trying to bargain, which he and many others think is unfair, is the DIRECTV contract and the AT&T Core contract.
“We’ve been waiting over a year in the core contract and the DIRECTV has been waiting almost a year for a contract and it is just time for us to get our side of the pie since we are the ones providing all the income to the company,” Couch said. “Normally contracts should be over in a couple of months if we feel that the company is doing things right, but our main core contract, it will actually be a year on April 9 since we have had a contract.”
Sunday, April 9 is also the day hundreds of AT&T technicians, call center representatives and other workers will converge in San Jose at noon in front of an AT&T store to protest the company’s continued efforts to shortchange customers and employees and call for the company to settle on a fair contract, they say.
April 9 also marks the one-year anniversary of AT&T technicians and call center representatives working without a contact.
The protest follows a successful 17,000 AT&T worker strike in California and Nevada in March that contributed to a 1 percent drop in the company’s stock shares. Nationwide, more than 21,000 AT&T wireless customer service and field workers are working under an extended contract after their contract was due to expire on Feb. 4. An additional 2,300 DIRECTV workers have been in negotiations for a first contract since April 2016.
Couch said he has spent the past five weeks protesting in Fresno, and said this is the first one in Porterville. He said he will probably move on to Tulare and Visalia next.
“Hopefully, the public can get behind us and realize that union jobs are good jobs,” Couch said. “We are out not just for ourselves, but for the average working man and woman that are out there trying to provide for their family and making money for large corporations. We just want our fair share.”
RALLY FOR A FAIR CONTRACT!
AT&T MOBILITY STORE
5180 N. BLACKSTONE AVE - STARTING AT 5:00 PM
Jan. 25th Start of Bargaining!