On Friday, 1,700 telecommunication workers in San Diego have begun a strike against AT&T West. There are 16,000 AT&T workers in California and Nevada covered by the contract that expired on April 9. However, only San Diego workers are striking the company, with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) insisting that it is not over contract negotiations but instead over an “unfair labor practices” grievance related to call-center monitoring.
The CWA has kept the rest of the workers at AT&T West on the job without a contract for two months, even as 39,000 Verizon workers on the East Coast have been on strike for more than five weeks. The CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have sought to separate the struggles of the telecommunication workers on both coasts, even though there is widespread support for joint action.
We spoke to workers on the picket line about the political issues in the struggle as they expressed solidarity with the Verizon strike on the East Coast.