Workers Win

Workers in Northampton, Brattleboro, and Keene have a new union contract. They work at AT&T. Matt Arnts lives near Keene and works at AT&T. “It was a tough fight,” he told the Valley Post on January 30. “I'm proud that we stuck together to get a fair contract.”

The contract boosts wages. To win the contract, the workers went on strike for three days. They have a web site at www.cwa-union.org.

AT&T's CEO makes $28 million a year.

On average, workers in the USA make 27 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to www.bls.gov. Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at UPS, UMass Amherst, the Brattleboro Retreat (900 or so workers), and the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro. The Brattleboro co-op has about 160 employees.

The middle class in the USA is disappearing. There are more rich people and more poor people than there have been since the 1920s. This allows billionaires more influence over politicians. Unions are one way to expand the middle class and increase democracy.

The AT&T workers voted to approve the contract on January 12.

In other news from the Valley, immigrant rights activists on January 25 won the release from prison of Niberd Abdalla. He lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts. His “crime” was being an undocumented immigrant. He was in prison for seven months. In July 2017, activists organized a well-attended rally in Northampton calling on President Trump to free Abdalla. The activists have a web site at www.pvWorkersCenter.org.

Comments

Clarification

Is this ATT mobile service? I thought the Brattleboro store was a franchise and not part of the union. Has that changed? Awesome if so!

Thank you for writing. I

Thank you for writing. I don't know the answer to your questions. Please feel free to contact the workers via their web site -- there is a link in the article. They will know.

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