Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey AT&T... This union worker won't let you undermine his local community

Most of the important decisions that impact people lives are made in boardrooms and back rooms where the subordinate classes are never allowed to have input.

Occupy Atlanta, Jobs with Justice, and other unions have joined together to support CWA in their efforts to demand that AT&T end the recently announced layoffs of 740 people throughout the southeast.  On Fed. 13th Occupy Atlanta and labor activist occupied AT&T    

AT&T is trying to squeeze "efficiency gains" out of fewer and fewer workers.  To translate this, its also known as giving some of the workers a pink slip while forcing other employees to work overtime; which means kids throughout the southeast won't have Dad around to help do their homework because Dad has to work extra hours or lose his job.   This means the small business owner in your community won't have that Mom shopping in their store buying things for her family of four, because that Mom is now on the unemployment line.  

These decisions made in boardrooms and back rooms have an impact on everyone in the community.

AT&T has decided to shift profits away from those who create it and in doing so undermine the quality of service their customers receive and undermine the quality of life for everyone in the local communities who are impacted by these layoffs.  

As Bruce Bartlett pointed out yesterday, "a tax system that lightly taxes capital and heavily taxes labor is necessarily going to benefit the wealthy."  It also creates incentives for those in the boardrooms and backrooms to make decisions that undermine the quality of their products, undermine the working conditions of their employees, and undermine the communities they service because they get a better tax rate on the wealth the company is producing rather than the paycheck from the service they provide. This is a perfect example of how a poorly structured tax code can create incentives that undermine the quality of life for everyone.

Those in the boardrooms and backrooms of AT&T see these layoffs as a win for the companies bottom line. But what about the workers within the company? The customers the company provides service to? The local economies who are connected to these people whose lives are being undermined?

If you live in the southeast I promise you the 1% who own the bulk of company won't be spending their hard "earned" [sic] money shopping in your community, won't come over to spend the extra time with the kids who's parents are forced to work overtime.  AT&T has plenty of work to go around but they are choosing to cut jobs and shift to low wage workers so that the profits can go to those who aren't earning them, shifting them to those who sit in boardrooms and backrooms.

AT&T can choose to make the right call for their customers, who will have shorter wait times; their employees, who won't be forced to work overtime; and the communities they service, who will see fewer foreclosures and will instead see hard earned dollars going into the local economy.

Until AT&T makes the right call I'll be joining the occupation on Tuesday and Thursday nights--since i'm already at GA State for class those evenings.  

Many people have asked how they can help.  Donations to Occupy Atlanta would be great.  Also I could use personal donation for supplies (I need to buy a tent) and an extra sleeping bag and cold weather gear so that when friends come join me for a night they have as comfortable a night as one can have in Feb/March in Atlanta.  Email me at for my paypal info.  

I'm bringing friends to join me each night so that they can learn more about how these decisions made in backrooms and boardrooms undermine the community and how we can join together to stop the erosion of the middle class in its tracks through direct actions and community organizing.  

Tomorrow night a friend from work and a friend from class will take a night out of their busy lives to show their solidarity with our efforts.  If you'd like to come spend a night out or if you'd like to donate money or supplies drop me a line...

AT&T make the right call--- the people that produce the value your customers depend on should share in the profits they create.  End the layoffs and the occupation ends... 

This union member isn't going to let you make your profits on the backs of people in his community.  As Dorrien Warren recenly noted in his excellent article on the subject, a strong labor movement is Americas last hope.  Together we are starting to build that movement from the ground up.

Hey, AT&T... We will take you down...

1 comment:

  1. Great post mate. As a Brit living in the States for a few months, I am shocked at how bad your cell phone service is in this country. Unfortunately, I have AT&T and its pathetic. Dropped calls, dead spots on major highways that end conversations. Hearing that AT&T is doing this makes me sick.