AT&T workers look to keep jobs in U.S. as contract expires

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by Michelle Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Local AT&T workers hit the picket line Wednesday - holding up signs saying "Let's be fair." The employees hold jobs that were formerly offshore positions and say they want the jobs to stay in the states, but they also want more pay.

A dozen or so employees lined Chestnut street in front of the AT&T building representing 277 local workers in internet services under a national contract. That contract expired this past Saturday and workers said they are tired of the status quo.

“Do I think that these people expect that they are going to get a double in their salary overnight? No they want a fair reasonable move in the right direction as far as wages, benefits, and everything is concerned,” local CWA president James Carrico said.

Organizers call this an informational picket; joining 21 other centers across the country during contract negotiations. They're not on strike, not quite yet.

“Right now, to show that we do care about the customers that we provide service to, we are working right now --under no contract,” employee Willie Foster said.

The union, the Communications Workers of America, want AT&T and the public to know they want to see changes sooner rather than later.

“In the event that this was to escalate and get to a situation with the work stoppage, it's always important to have public support. Those people behind you to know you're not fighting out of greed as AT&T does. We're just asking for fairness and to make a fair wage,” Carrico said.

Those contract negotiations are taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. Picket organizers say they don't want these issues to impact the public, that's why they've decided to continue working.

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