back to article 40,000-plus AT&T staff threaten to strike Friday

A union representing 40,000 AT&T Mobility workers is threatening a nationwide strike this weekend after negotiations with the telco stalled. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) said on Wednesday that union members in 36 states are set to join picket lines outside of AT&T retail stores this weekend if the company can't …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good job unions. No wonder our jobs get sent over seas. #RightToWork

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      I'm guessing A/C thinks that the shareholders of AT&T have more right to the $40 billion or so profit the company makes than any of the employees.

      If that trend continues there won't be any Americans left with the income to purchase products from the companies like AT&T.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Buy shares?

        "I'm guessing A/C thinks that the shareholders of AT&T have more right to the $40 billion or so profit the company makes than any of the employees."

        The maybe buy some shares then, if you think that is the path to riches. When employees are hired, they are hired for an agreed to amount. Shareholders get a portion of dividends, based on the number of shares. Everyone gets something. And if you think shareholders get a better deal, buy shares.

        And also, AT&T only made $13.3B in 2016, on total revenue of $163.8B. First of all, that is a really a terrible margin. But it also shows that AT&T pays their staff a LOT, as most of the $150B spent, goes to staff.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Buy shares?

          Not necessarily a terrible margin, if you sell enough. A lot of supermarkets operate on very low margins for example (3% or so) and make the difference by quantity of units. A low margin helps you sell sometimes, a low margin might make you 13.3bn.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'm guessing A/C thinks that the shareholders of AT&T have more right to the $40 billion or so profit the company makes than any of the employees."

        I know right. If I invest my life savings to start up a restaurant, employees should get a huge slice of the pie even though they risked nothing. No, you're full of crap. The cost of hiring an employee is a lot more than just an hourly wage. Unemployment insurance, local and state and federal taxes, let alone all the insane regulations and the fines that go with them.Then you have food costs, throwaways, theft, insurance and countless other expenses. But in an entitlement world, everybody wants everything for free. Look, I don't own a business and I work for minimum wage, but I also appreciate how much it takes just to hire me. And I'm sick of us pointing the finger at the 1% because frankly, I know how much people at my level screw others over, including ourselves. Now excuse me while I soak up some government benefits because I'm entitled to them!

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        a wage is worth the work output. Pay people too much, and the company does poorly. A poorly run company goes out of business (or gets "gummint bailouts" if DemoRats are running the show).

        If the people want MORE THAN THEY ARE WORTH, and walk out because of it, they should be "unceremoniously let go" (aka 'fired') and replaced with SCABS and SUB-CONTRACTORS.

        it's like 'minimum wage'. it means your job will end if it costs more to hire you than you're worth.

    2. Dreadogastus
      Joke

      Union Danger

      Yeah! They should have no problem commuting from Indonesia to my local store here in Florida.

  2. ma1010 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Glad to see some unions still alive

    Over the last 50 years I've watched unions dwindle as mammoth corporations arise and create new "McJobs" where they pay everyone a pittance and the high-ups live like kings. Add in the skyrocketing costs of renting someplace to live, and things are getting fairly grim for a lot of people. I think it's a lot tougher to be young and just starting out nowadays than it was when I were a nipper.

    Can't speak for the UK, but in this country (USA), we need more unions to form and stand up for workers so they can earn a living wage. (Yes, Walmart, et al., I'm looking at you.)

    As to what AT&T says, I wonder just how many of these striking people make "$115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation." Not very many, I'd wager.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not very many, I'd wager.

      I was at the upper end of the pay scale while I was there. Even allowing for the fact that was seven years ago, those numbers are pretty much BS. They must be factoring in the cost of the air they let you breathe.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Glad to see some unions still alive

      Can't speak for the UK, but in this country (USA), we need more unions to form and stand up for workers so they can earn a living wage

      The trouble is that we in the UK have seen the other side of the coin - the days when unions would cripple the whole country because of politics (and very little to do with defending their members).

      As with everything, a balance needs to be achieved - neither the unions or the corporations should be too powerful because an imbalance of power results in corruption, greed and the more powerful imposing their will on the others.

      So yes - I think we do need more unions - but not unions that exist only to support one political party. Unions that *actively* represent their members and don't just use them as counters in political games.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Glad to see some unions still alive

      "where they pay everyone a pittance and the high-ups live like kings"

      what FAKE NEWS site did THAT come from? It's just the socialist RELIGIOUS propaganda again. You've obviously NEVER signed "the front of the check".

  3. John 104

    we're offering terms in which their members – some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation – will be better off financially," a spokesperson told The Register.

    That sort of statement is misleading. It can include health benefits and other like items, but those don't pay the bills...

    1. Kernel

      "That sort of statement is misleading. It can include health benefits and other like items, but those don't pay the bills..."

      While that might be a valid argument if you live in a country where healthcare is provided by the government, more or less for free*, in the US where you have to make your own arrangements then yes, these benefits certainly do pay some bills that you would otherwise need to find money for from your wage packet.

      * If you live in such a country and don't think you're getting a good deal on health care, then I suggest you try taking a small animal to your local vet for a simple check up - that usually points out exactly how good the deal is for humans.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If I recall correctly

      Many jobs are calculated at about 35% over the actual pay as part of the "Total Compensation" for reporting purposes. Makes it seem all that much more impressive when the reality is most of it is things like vacation days, sick days, personal time etc. So you can probably figure most of those 118K/year jobs are actually somewhere in the realm of 70-80K/year before taxes. And the term "some" could be 1 or two people, not representative of the whole union by any stretch.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: If I recall correctly

        RE: that 35%.

        Most companies count into the "total compensation" such goodies as the employers part of Social Security. Other add in the "cost" of taking the company truck home at night. Tax wise, there's a pretty broad base on what goes into that calculation.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: If I recall correctly

        "Many jobs are calculated at about 35% over the actual pay as part of the "Total Compensation" for reporting purposes"

        last time I ran a payroll for myself (yes, business owners typically need to do that if you won't want to be sued by the government or audited) the burden was about 17% but it includes no "benefits", just payroll taxes and bank costs for check prep. It also excludes liability insurance, workman's compensation, and a few OTHER things you don't need if you have a home office where you live and you're the only employee of the corporation. Those costs can go up pretty high very quickly, especially in Cali-FORNICATE-You.

        And when gummint IMPOSES those extra costs on employers (read: OBAKA"care"), one of two things have to happen: fire/terminate the employees and do the work yourself, and/or don't give them raises (or even LOWER the pay scale). You can't get money from nowhere to pay people with.

        these are the realities of economics. It's why I voted for Trump. He obviously GETS IT.

        AT&T is probably at the edge of profitability now. And last time I was in an AT&T store, I got some rather poor customer service. It might be time to get rid of those guys and hire people with proper attitudes, paying commission instead of salary.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation

      Got to love the weasel wording... "some of whom" is the key here... how many is "some"? I'd lay odds that it's very few and probably ones who are either a) close to retirement or b) will be the first laid off at the next blood-letting.

  4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation

    So, now we know that the highest-paid union employee at AT&T makes $148K and the second-highest-paid makes $115K (including benefits).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Pox On Both Their Houses

    I had the misfortune of working for AT&T for about a year and belonging to the CWA.

    I hope it turns out to be a lose-lose situation. Never saw so many festering sphincters in one place at one time.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unions are like a pyramid scheme

    Sounds great until everyone is a member of a union. That and as a Republican, unions only support candidates I would never vote for. So basically I'd be forced to pay dues to a group I completely disagree with.

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Megaphone

    job protections for the workers.

    I'll say it loud enough to hear it in the cheap seats:

    A! JOB! IS! NOT! A! DAMNED! ENTITLEMENT!!!

    If the company does POORLY, you might lose your job! After all, a companay with NO MONEY can't pay people SQUAT.

    That's the way it is for EVERYBODY. Deal with it.

    (stupid unions, fire 'em all, hire scabs)

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