Telecommunications Giant Wants to Hike Health Care Costs, Offer Pitiful Pay Increases to Members of Teamsters Local 959
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(BOSTON)– On Friday night, members of Teamsters Local 25 educated fans attending the Boston Celtics -Miami Heat NBA Eastern Conference Finals about AT&T’s abuse of its workers. AT&T [NYSE: T] is the primary sponsor of the series.
“From Boston to Alaska, Teamsters will always fight back wherever a multi-billion-dollar corporation tries to exploit working people,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President. “Local 959 members are demanding what they’re worth. I’m proud of them, and of my hometown Local 25 members for showing solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Alaska.”
“Our members know what it takes to defend ourselves against this level of corporate greed, and we’ll always stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Teamster locals, whether in New England or beyond, as well as all working people who are standing up for themselves,” said Thomas G. Mari, President of Local 25.
Outside of the TD Garden, the Teamsters distributed leaflets that described AT&T’s behavior toward its employees in Alaska who are members of Teamsters Local 959, and held banners that asked the NBA not to assist “AT&T’s Price Hikes and Worker Abuse.”
Local 959 represents 175 members in Alaska who are trying to bargain their new contract with AT&T Alascom, a subsidiary of AT&T. The AT&T Teamsters who build, maintain and monitor Alaska’s telecommunications infrastructure frequently risk their lives in extreme weather conditions to repair equipment and keep phone and internet services up and running throughout the state, including dangerous work that can only be performed via helicopter transport.
AT&T is refusing to honor its workers’ contributions. The company is demanding its Alaskan workforce accept a meager one percent wage increase in 2022, and a 1.75 percent wage increase in 2023. AT&T is also trying to force Alaskan workers with families to pay an additional $1,000 per year for health care, on top of the $13,000 annually that they already pay.
AT&T made $23 billion in net profit last year, which includes revenues from its contracts with the Department of Defense and the Alyeska pipeline.
“AT&T makes billions off the hard work of its frontline employees, yet the company won’t invest in its longtime workers or its aging infrastructure in Alaska,” said Eileen Whitmer, President of Local 959. “Meanwhile, AT&T announced that it’s going to raise prices on customers. These workers and their families are dealing with an eight percent rise in the cost of living, and AT&T can certainly afford to pay them. We will continue to educate the public until AT&T and its out-of-state negotiators are willing to treat Alaskans fairly.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.