"The clock is ticking for AT&T to make good on their promise to preserve family-supporting jobs for more than 40,000 workers", said Dennis Trainor, Vice President of CWA District 1.
The strike includes workers in 36 states covered by the AT&T Mobility "Orange" contract, as well as workers at AT&T West, AT&T East in CT and DIRECTV in California and Nevada.
The groups striking represent four different union contracts and include wireless workers in 36 states and DC; wireline workers in California, Nevada and CT; and DirecTV technicians in California and Nevada. The walkout would mark the first time AT&T Mobility workers go on strike, potentially disrupting a large number of retail stores across the country this weekend.
The union is also fighting the spread of "authorized retailers", which are run on a non-union franchise basis and maintain notoriously poor working conditions.
In an earlier statement, AT&T said it was "baffling" that the union might call a strike considering "we're offering terms in which their members - some of whom average $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation - will be better off financially".
The union estimates that AT&T has cut 12,000 call-center jobs in the United States since 2011 while creating many such jobs overseas, but Mr. "Despite being the largest telecom company in the country with almost $1 billion a month in profits and the CEO earning $28 million, AT&T continues to pinch its workers' basic needs and stand in the way of high-quality service its customers pay good money for".
The workers are demanding wage increases that cover rising healthcare costs, job security against outsourcing, affordable healthcare and a fair scheduling policy.
In April previous year, 40,000 Verizon workers went on strike. The union said that some company stores had been converted to noncompany stores and that much of the recent growth in the retail workforce had occurred at noncompany stores.
Workers had issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals.
This is a strike happening with over 40,000 AT&T employees across the country.
Employees say striking is the best way to get the company's attention and are hopeful they can find a solution. Workers are expected to go back to work on Monday.