Union leaders say profitable results at AT&T strengthen the case for a better deal at the bargaining table. The communications giant is still in negotiations with representatives of four thousand workers in Connecticut.
AT&T Wednesday reported a drop in first quarter profits, down nearly 10% on the same period last year. But strong results from the company’s wireless business helped AT&T beat analysts’ expectations. AT&T earned just over $3b, or 53 cents a share. Union employees in Connecticut have been working with out a contract since April 4th as talks continue. William Henderson, President of Local 1298 of the Communications Workers of America says the bottom line is jobs.
“Before we can talk about wages, before we can talk about benefits – and AT&T is looking for reducing our wages, reducing our benefits – we have to have a commitment from AT&T that they’re going to have jobs in Connecticut. We’ve seen jobs moved out of the state. Over a thousand jobs in the last four years, moved to Texas, moved to Tennessee, moved to Georgia. They have no problem sending a bill to everyone in the state of Connecticut – they shouldn’t have any problem giving jobs to people in the state of Connecticut.”
Union members have already voted to authorize a strike, but Henderson says it’ll be a last resort if talks break down.