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Lawmakers Who Want To Hand ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ Card To Banks Made Millions From Financial Sector Last Year

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As expected, Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would overturn new rules intended to make sure that bank and credit card customers aren’t stripped of their right to file lawsuits in a court of law. Not surprisingly, many of the politicians pushing this pro-bank bill recently received significant financial support from the financial sector.

We mentioned in our original story, before the legislation was introduced, that the two main sponsors — Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX) and Sen. Mike Crapo (ID) — received a total of $6 million in campaign contributions from the financial sector in 2016, with $1.9 million going to Hensarling’s campaign and $4.1 million going to Crapo.

But among those supporting the legislation to roll back the new protections on bank and credit card customers, these two lawmakers aren’t even the largest beneficiaries of the financial industry.

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) received a total of $7 million from this sector in 2016. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Toomey was the largest recipient of funding from commercial banks last year, with $935,000 in contributions coming from that industry alone, plus another $2.55 million coming from securities and investment firms.

Other Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, eight of whom have already co-signed this bill, have also received millions from the financial sector.

This includes Sen. Bob Corker (TN), whose campaign took in $3.7 million from this sector, including $1.09 million from securities and investment firms and $517,000 from commercial banks. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton raised $2.7 million from financial firms in 2016, including $1.23 million from investment firms and $344,000 from commercial banks.

The eight Senate sponsors of this bill received a total of $24 million — an average of $3 million each — in 2016 from the industry that would be most affected by the new rules.

Over in the House, the individual numbers aren’t as large, but they do add up, with the supporting legislators’ campaigns earning more than $22 million from financial companies in the last election cycle.

In addition to the $1.9 million received by Hensarling, other recipients of significant financial sector contributions include Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC), whose campaign took in $2.1 million from this industry in 2016, making him the #3 favorite recipient of commercial bank money.

Rep. Ed Royce (CA) is the third-highest recipient of contributions from credit unions, helping him to bring in $1.7 million in campaign money last year. Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers’ campaign took in $1.5 million; he’s a #3 favorite for the finance/credit industry in all of Congress. His fellow committee member, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MT) is the favorite of finance/credit; his campaign received a total of $1.3 million last year from the financial sector.

What Are They Fighting Against?

The new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau severely limits the ability of many banks and credit card companies from using “forced arbitration” clauses in their customer contracts. These clauses not only prevent customers from suing the bank in a court of law; they also allow the company to prevent customers from joining their complaints together in a class action.

For an example of how anti-consumer these arbitration clauses can be, one need look no further than the recent Wells Fargo fake account fiasco, where potentially millions of customers were affected by employees who opened up bogus, unauthorized accounts in the customers’ names.

The Wells Fargo customer contract includes a forced arbitration clause, and the bank repeatedly attempted to enforce that clause to shut down class actions brought by customers over this widespread fraudulent activity. Ultimately — under pressure from the media, lawmakers, and regulators — the bank decided to settle these class actions, but it could have forced each of the millions of allegedly wronged customers into individual arbitration.

The lawmakers behind this legislation to overturn the new arbitration rule argue that arbitration is actually pro-consumer. Sen. Mike Rounds (SD), whose campaign recently made $1.3 million from the financial sector, contends that arbitration is superior to class action lawsuits because the payouts are typically higher.

The problem with Rounds’ way of thinking is that is like comparing apples to apple orchards. Yes, a successful arbitration case can result in the wronged customer receiving a few thousand dollars, while the average payout of a massive class action may only be a few dollars each. However, the CFPB’s survey of arbitration cases in the financial industry found that very few bank and credit card customers even know what arbitration is, let alone ever go through the process of filing a dispute in arbitration.

So say a bank wrongs 100,000 customers by illegally charging them for a service they didn’t ask for. Now say, generously, that 50 of those wronged customers take the initiative to enter into arbitration and get $5,000 each (which is also generous). That’s a total of $250,000 penalty to the bank, with more than 99% of customers getting nothing and the bank effectively being allowed to break the law. Additionally, many arbitration results are confidential, so the remaining 99,950 customers may never even know they were screwed out of money.

But a class action suit could represent all 100,000 wronged customers. Let’s use the $32 per person figure that arbitration supporters love to throw around: $32 times 100,000 = $3.2 million, that’s a penalty that is more than 10 times the size of what the bank would pay in the arbitration example. Even if a company settles and doesn’t have to admit wrongdoing, the increased public awareness of the dispute helps to prevent the company, and hopefully others, from future bad behavior.

Heavily Unbalanced

“Forced arbitration is heavily weighted against the consumer,” explains our colleague George Slover at Consumers Union,” adding that “it shields financial companies from accountability for widespread wrongdoing.”

Christine Hines, Legislative Director at the National Association of Consumer Advocates, said it was disappointing but not surprising that “some members of Congress would sacrifice their constituents’ legal rights to make big banks and predatory lenders happy. Wall Street lobbyists have been urging their congressional allies to seek repeal of the CFPB arbitration rule, which restores American consumers’ right to band together in court when financial institutions cheat, deceive, or defraud them.”

Even some lawmakers who received not-insignificant funding from the financial sector say the GOP move to roll back these protections goes too far.

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, an outspoken critic of forced arbitration (whose campaign did receive $1.3 million from the financial sector in 2016), alleged today that “powerful special interests are encouraging my colleagues across the aisle to undo this critical consumer protection… as lawmakers, we should be working on behalf of all Americans, not big banks.”

The pieces of legislation introduced today seek to use the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows members of Congress to voice their disapproval of recently finalized federal regulations. CRA resolutions only require a simple majority in each chamber of Congress. Given the large GOP majority in the House, the resolution seems likely to pass that chamber, even if a few Republicans oppose it.

The GOP only has a two-vote majority in the Senate, and possibly only a single vote, depending on how long Sen. John McCain (AZ) remains out of office to deal with his recently discovered brain tumor. Republicans would effectively need a full party-line vote (or support from one or two more conservative Democrats) for the CRA to pass the Senate.





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1-In-4 Families Don’t Seek Medical Attention Because Of Financial Worries

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With the latest reports suggesting that the American Health Care Act — a budget resolution intended to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act — would leave more than 23 million consumers without insurance and facing higher out-of-pocket costs, it’s no surprise that consumers are a bit uneasy when it comes to their healthcare. In fact, a new survey suggests that in the face of rising costs, some families are foregoing medical care to save a few — or a few thousand — bucks. 

A new report from Bankrate found that 25% of Americans say in the last year someone in their household decided not to seek medical attention when it was needed simply because of the cost.

According to the survey, which analyzed 1,002 telephone interviews of adults living in the U.S. in May, older millennials — ages 27 to 32 — were the most likely to skip out on medical care, with nearly 32% — or 1-in-3 — saying they didn’t see a doctor when they should have.

A Washington, D.C., resident tells Bankrate that she was surprised by how expensive things can be even when you have insurance.

“Things like urgent care,” she says. “I’ve been able to pay out-of-pocket, but I thought insurance would cover more of it.”

About 25% of consumers between the ages of 37 and 52 didn’t seek medical attention, while 23% of adults between 53 and 71 years of age failed to visit a doctor because of possible costs.

“It’s very concerning that people are foregoing medical attention because of the expense,” Robin Saks Frankel, credit card analyst at Bankrate.com, said in a statement.

The concern uncovered by Bankrate echoes the findings in a recent survey from our colleagues at Consumer Reports.

According to that survey of 1,007 adults, concerns about healthcare have increased significantly in the last year. More than half (57%) of Americans said they lack confidence that they and their loved ones will be able to afford health insurance.

Part of the reason that some individuals have foregone medical care over cost worries is likely brought on by their lack of insurance, according to Bankrate, which found about 13% of respondents don’t have insurance.

But the concerns aren’t less for those who currently have health insurance, as keeping it is a big worry. More than 56% of consumers say they are worried they might not have affordable health insurance in the future.

One Maryland woman tells Bankrate that with proposed changes she’s worried she’ll have to pay more to keep her insurance.

“I don’t want to be paying more,” she said.

Of these consumers, Generation Xers are most concerned with 64% of people ages 37 to 52 worries, followed by baby boomers (58%), millennials (56%), and the silent generation (35%).

Consumers had the same worries in Consumer Reports’ survey, which found 41% of respondents are not confident that they will have access to the doctors, tests, treatments, and medications they need. That’s an increase from 35% in January when we first asked the question—a statistically significant jump.

As for individual preference on the future of healthcare, 43% of respondents say they prefer the current Affordable Care Act system to the proposed American Health Care Act.

No matter which healthcare policy is used, the Consumer Reports’ survey found a majority of Americans believe the government should do something. Nearly 78% of respondents said they believed the government should help make sure people have access to affordable, quality healthcare.





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47 days ago
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Public Outcry Hasn’t Actually Decreased The Price Of EpiPens

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Remember last year around back-to-school time, when the public focused its ire on drug company Mylan for charging hundreds of dollars for $1 worth of the drug epinephrine in each EpiPen brand auto-injector? While that generated plenty of bad publicity for Mylan, turns out Mylan doesn’t actually care.

How much doesn’t it care? The New York Times spoke with Mylan higher-ups who didn’t want to be identified because they signed non-disclosure agreements, and they recounted a meeting over EpiPen prices with chairman Robert Coury.

When some executives brought up their concerns about the price hikes for EpiPen in recent years, multiple sources told the Times that Coury displayed two middle fingers and told them that FDA regulators, outraged members of Congress, investors, and anyone else concerned about the pricing could “go f— themselves.”

The executives also say that the price of EpiPens was expected to go up even more before the rush of negative publicity.

Times columnist Charles Duhigg learned first-hand that Mylan hadn’t actually changed anything when he went to refill his son’s EpiPen prescription. The pharmacy told him that he was responsible for paying $609 for a two-pack of pens.

Couldn’t he just get a generic? Getting the generic version meant having the pharmacy contact the doctor’s office for authorization, then paying $370 instead.

While insurance coverage and coupons bring the cost down for most consumers, others aren’t eligible for manufacturer discount programs and haven’t yet met their deductible for the year.

Mylan paid almost $500 million last year to settle allegations that it overcharged Medicaid customers for their EpiPens.

How can you prevent this when filling your own prescriptions? Having a doctor write a prescription for an “adrenaline auto-injector” instead of using the EpiPen brand. This can get you a generic Adrenaclick pen at CVS and other pharmacies, which is a significantly cheaper alternative if your or your child’s doctor approves.





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bibliogrrl
37 days ago
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Who Are the Anarchists and What is Anarchism?

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By Thomas Giovanni

In the wake of the use of militant street tactics at the Trump inauguration protests, the controversial shut down of two prominent right-wing speakers at the University of California, Berkeley, and a variety of high profile actions against the far right, anarchists have received increased media attention and sparked widespread debate, particularly around anti-fascist struggles. But many people are still confused about anarchism, associating it with indiscriminate violence, chaos, and disorder. This distorted image runs counter to more than a century of anarchist activity in and outside the United States. So if not chaos or disorder, what does anarchism stand for? What do anarchists believe in?

Core Anarchist Values

At the most basic level, anarchists believe in the equal value of all human beings. Anarchists also believe that hierarchical power relations are not only unjust, but corrupt those who have power and dehumanize those who don’t. Instead anarchists believe in direct democracy, cooperation, and solidarity. Anarchists oppose the state, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism and other forms of oppression, not because they believe in disorder; but rather because they believe in equal freedom for all and oppose all forms of exploitation, domination and hierarchy.

So if anarchists aren’t for disorder and chaos, what are they for? Anarchists recognize that the current social order promotes individualistic, competitive disorder and ecological destruction, not freedom for all. For example, under capitalism the wealthy elite have the freedom to dominate and exploit the rest of us, while taking away our freedom to control our work and lives, and taking away our ability to equitably share in the globally and historically created economic and technological advances of our world. In contrast to this, anarchists support the principles of solidarity and equal freedom for all, in all aspects of society.

Direct Democracy Replaces the State

The democratic state is a contradiction in terms to anarchists. The state is not truly participatory, but rather a governance system in which some govern and others are governed. It is made up of hierarchical institutions and relations of power in which a few, elected or otherwise (rather than the whole society), make binding, value-laden decisions for the rest of us, and enforce those decisions with the direct – or underlying – threat of violence. To govern ourselves without the state, anarchists propose directly democratic assemblies with mandated (i.e. they must bring the specific views and votes of all from the assembly) and immediately recallable delegates (not “representatives” who are elected and then make their own decisions) to engage in dialogue, negotiation and compromise with larger numbers of people. For example, instead of electing senators and representatives, anarchists propose neighborhood assemblies of perhaps between 200- 400 people to discuss, debate and dialogue directly regarding the various issues that arise in our society. Clusters of neighborhoods might send their mandated delegates with specific votes on each issue to do the same for sub-regional assemblies, regional assemblies and a global assembly. If each of those four levels of directly democratic assemblies were around 300 people, you could have directly democratic self-governance of 8.1 billion people. Of course this is only a theoretical example and this could take different forms and numerical quantities in practice; but these directly democratic forms would eliminate others making decisions for the global population and instead involve directly democratic participatory decision-making of all people on the planet.

Does this mean that we’d be against administrative agencies tasked with developing scientific research or coordinating health care or educating the population? Of course not. However, the system of elite control dominating and manipulating such agencies would be eliminated. Instead, these agencies would be accountable from the bottom-up through our assemblies and councils of mandated delegates and filled with voluntary cooperation amongst those active in their field just as many associations and agencies work today despite attempts at top-down governmental control.

An Egalitarian and Liberatory Global Economic Order

What about economics? All anarchists are anti-capitalists and we believe that the broad working class must end capitalism and replace it with an economic system that benefits us all. Most anarchists believe in communism (not the state dictatorships in places like the USSR, China, or Cuba led by “Communist” parties).  As the term was originally used in the 19th century, to anarchists, communism instead means a stateless, classless society in which the land, machines, buildings, resources and other tools/infrastructure/locations by which and in which we engage in economic activity would be controlled from the bottom up through directly democratic assemblies of working people and mandated delegates in different coordinating roles similar to how our community assemblies would work. Specialization would likely occur, but job tasks would be divided more fairly so that work time would be reduced, work conditions would be improved and undesirable work would be eliminated or partially shared by many. The workplace would be driven by those doing the work with accountability to their local communities and the federations of communities sub-regionally, regionally and globally. The communist maxim “from each according to ability, to each according to need” means that each would be expected to contribute according to their ability in whatever capacity. Individuals would then be able to have all of their needs met (health, education, housing, transportation, food, clothing, etc.) and many of their wants met (entertainment, luxury items) on an egalitarian basis.

Unlike some historically top-down models, a bottom-up participatory economy would encourage diversity of production of goods and services for the diverse needs and wants of individuals. But all individuals would be given the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities according to their capacities, talents and desires so that they contribute in the most fulfilling and productive way possible to society. However, not all would be expected to work for the society (retirees, school-age children, parents on parental leave, those with incapacitating health issues, etc.). Different types and levels of societal work would be expected from single individuals vs. parents, or those differently-abled vs. others. Fulfilling differentiated levels of expected contribution would not mean differentiated levels of compensation. All needs and wants would be fulfilled in an egalitarian manner that doesn’t disadvantage someone because they have greater needs (such as health needs or requirements for their children) All in all, instead of a society basing social prestige on acquiring things, social prestige would turn towards those who contribute to society in meaningful ways according to their individual capacities.

Also the economy would be a global economy that seeks to develop and utilize the capacities, talents and skills of all for the benefit of all. This would involve a commitment to international solidarity and the sharing of technology, resources and knowledge to undo the historically, economically, politically and socially created inequalities of our world. Allowing for all to achieve their potential by providing the resources, opportunities and connections to do so will generate profound advances as we unlock the capacities of so many currently unable to contribute to their full capacities. This means the movement which we build must be global. However, revolutionary social change would likely be uneven due to gains in some areas and setbacks in others as we build connections around the globe to fight alongside each other and undermine reactionary, elite and oppressive forces led by those affected most directly by them.

The Elimination of Societal Oppression

Beyond politics and economics, there are still vast inequalities and dominating power relations that affect our world.  Systems and cultures of white supremacy, religious prejudice, patriarchy, heterosexism, xenophobia, and many other forms of oppression still dominate our world. The destruction of these institutions, systems and oppressive elements of cultures is central to the anarchist vision. These systems must be destroyed and replaced with egalitarian relations that prioritize respect, liberation, solidarity, diversity and autonomy within various communities that allows for people to be free and fully human in a manner in which they choose as long as it doesn’t involve the domination, oppression or exploitation of others.

What about policing, anti-social behavior, and crimes? The overwhelming majority of anti-social behaviors and crimes are due to structural inequalities under capitalism and other systems of socio-economic oppression. Another strong contributing factor to anti-social behavior and crimes relates to inadequate mental health services. Under an anarchist communist society, the vast majority of the incentive for and causes for crime would be removed. However, remnants of anti-social, violent and oppressive behavior would persist. Anarchism doesn’t support the freedom of some to exploit, oppress or harm others — it’s not a competitive bullying free-for-all like capitalism. Instead, anarchism is fundamentally about eliminating dominating and oppressive relations of power. This wouldn’t involve a specialized institution like the police, which consolidates too much repressive power in the hands of too few, leading to corruption, abuse and entrenched dominating sites of hierarchical power.  Instead, organized, broad-based and rotating community patrols and rapid response networks — aided by a heightened sense of societal solidarity, familiarity and engagement amongst neighbors under anarchist communism — would work to defend against reactionary, anti-social or other oppressive actions of individuals and groups. Transformative justice processes — developed significantly within a variety of North American indigenous cultures — could serve to hold individual transgressors accountable and attempt to prevent such actions in the future.

The Possibility of Anarchism

Is this all even possible? The farthest explicitly anarchist movements that have come to implement such a vision occurred in Manchuria from 1929-1931, Ukraine from 1917-1921 and Spain from 1936-1939. Anarchists have also built, held strong influence or were significant forces in some of the first labor movements in almost every continent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. More recently, some revolutionary libertarian* left societies (though not anarchist communist societies, they are in the same tendency and in line with many of the same broad libertarian left values and principles as anarchism) have also emerged in places like Chiapas, Mexico in the 1990s until present led by the Zapatistas and in Rojava, Kurdistan (Northern Syria and Iraq) from 2012 to present (while also successfully and heroically fighting ISIS forces in the process).

How do we get there? Anarchists believe in direct action, popular power and prefigurative politics. Direct action strategies mean anarchists don’t try to get elected to public office (or take control of the state by other means), prioritize legal challenges in the courts to change laws, or gain management positions within businesses to change how things are run. Instead, through directly democratic, collective bottom-up action at our workplaces, schools and within our communities, we seek to force those in positions of power to make improvements in our conditions (or change the conditions directly without approval from authorities), while building the bottom-up popular power amongst the broad working class necessary for bigger gains and ultimately fundamental transformation. For example, collective direct action might involve strikes, boycotts, blockades, civil disobedience, or directly making changes without top-down approval. In addition, broader educational and organizing efforts help to build towards such action in ways that broaden struggle and consciousness. The popular power that we build is autonomous from the state, political parties or other elite or hierarchical forces, and instead represents the collective, egalitarian, directly democratic power of the broad working class in our communities, workplaces, and schools.

Prefigurative politics means that we seek to organize in a manner consistent with a society we want to live in while building popular power. We organize in a directly democratic, collective and egalitarian manner where we confront capitalism, the state and all systems of oppression both outside of and within our movements and start to plant the seeds and build the foundations of a new society through the ever increasing popular power that we build in the movements and organizations of which we are a part today. The various elite, reactionary or otherwise oppressive forces won’t just allow this to happen. All of this will be a struggle that will ultimately lead to revolution — the abolition of the state, the expropriation of all the means of production from the few transferred to the control and benefit of all, and the fundamental transformation of the dominating, oppressive and exploitative systems, institutions and cultures of our world to the liberatory, free and egalitarian systems of tomorrow.

But to create such a society, anarchists believe we must begin to now operate in a manner consistent with such a society. We need to confront and undermine all systems of oppression, domination and exploitation in our communities, schools and workplaces and build alternative models and relations in the process. These seeds of the new world that we are creating through the popular power that we are building in the struggle against the oppression of the old world, must develop over time in struggle with the current systems until we have the opportunity to replace them. Such a revolution must take place if we truly believe that all human beings have equal worth, that all should have equal freedom and that we feel such a world would be a desirable place to be. The elites won’t give this to us so we must fight for it against their actions and in the process of building ours. So join us — and your neighbors, co-workers, fellow students and all those of the broader working class – as we fight against domination, exploitation and oppression in the struggle towards building a better world together.

* “Libertarian” has historically been used as a synonym for anarchism globally. The right in the United States attempted to co-opt this term in the 1970s with the formation of the pro-capitalist, competitive, hyper individualist “Libertarian Party”. This has nothing to do with anarchism or the libertarian left which is socialist, cooperative, and believes that true individuality is cultivated in the context of healthy collective relations.


Thomas Giovanni is a member of Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation. 

Recommended Readings

“Why I Am An Anarchist” by Lorenzo Ervin Komboa. Former Black Panther and political prisoner Komboa writes on why he became an anarchist and provides a brief introduction. The full text can be found in the Black Anarchism Reader.

“The Anarchist FAQ.” A two volume published and online book of questions and detailed answers covering a wide range of topics.

“Building a Revolutionary Anarchism”  by Colin O’Malley. A practical program of how to make anarchism a significant force and relating to larger social movements.

Spanish Civil War 1936-39 Reading Guide. A detailed collection of articles on the Spanish Revolution – arguably the most far reaching revolution in history.

For A Working Class Feminism: Resources For International Women’s Day. A collection of pamphlets, articles and interviews presenting a new vision of feminism. 

The Bread Book. An introductory blog promoting Peter Kropotkin’s classic work “The Conquest of Bread” which presents a vision of free society where everyone has access to basic needs.

 

#Anarchism #Anarchist #TryAnarchism

The post Who Are the Anarchists and What is Anarchism? appeared first on Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

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AT&T, DirecTV Workers In 36 States Walk Off Job For 3-Day Strike

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AT&T customers could find it difficult to obtain help this weekend if something were to happen to their DirecTV, U-Verse, or AT&T wireless service, as AT&T union workers walked off the job today following failed contract negotiations. 

Thousands of AT&T wireless, wireline, and DirecTV workers who are part of the Communications Workers of America — the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S. — announced today that they will participate in a weekend-long strike in protest of AT&T’s failure to provide “serious proposals” for workers.

The striking groups — which walked off the job around 3 p.m. — represent four union contracts and include wireless workers in 36 states and Washington, D.C., as well as wireline workers in California, Nevada and Connecticut, and DirecTV technicians in California and Nevada.

CWA warns that with wireless employees expected go on strike, several AT&T retail stores could be closed this weekend, claiming the strike could be the largest in retail history.

The groups concede that while the strike will likely be an inconvenience for customers in the short term, workers are committed to “putting an end to unnecessary frustration and poor service because of AT&T’s lack of investment in its core business.”

The strike is expected to end Sunday evening, with workers returning to the job Monday.

CWA says that workers are demanding AT&T commit to bargaining that addresses wage increases that cover rising healthcare costs, job security against outsourcing, affordable healthcare, and a fair scheduling policy.

“We’re walking off the job today because AT&T has every means available to support its core workforce and the customers who help make them $1 billion a month in profits, but chooses to undercut us at every turn,” James Stiffey, an AT&T wireless worker from Pittsburgh, said in a statement.

In a statement emailed to Consumerist, AT&T argued that this strike is “baffling” and in “no one’s best interest.”

“We’re prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers,” said AT&T, which notes that striking workers account for about 14% of its workforce. “Like any family we have our disagreements but we’ll sort them out. We’ve reached 29 fair agreements since 2015 covering over 128,000 of our employees, and we’re confident we can do the same here.”

This weekend’s strike comes nearly two months after 17,000 AT&T workers in Nevada and California walked off the job.

The Unionized workers who are part of the Communications Workers of America, District 9 returned to work a short time later.

“The brief grievance strike has been resolved and employees are returning to work today,” an AT&T spokesman told Consumerist at the time.





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subbes
66 days ago
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support the striking workers. don't shop at AT&T, don't cross the picket lines.
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like carbon credits but for justice

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of course i care about what’s happening! that’s why i sent 3 — THREE — RallyPals. i couldn’t make it because i had a spa appointment

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