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FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores, in New York. AT&T Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, April 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

21,000 AT&T workers could strike today over their labor contract


Approximately 21,000 employees of AT&T Wireless are set to walk off the job on Monday after the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union gave the company 72 hours to negotiate a labor contract, CNN reports

"We have given AT&T every opportunity to show their commitment to finding common ground and a fair contract," CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor told CNN. "Time is running out for AT&T to stop undermining good jobs, quality customer service and its long-term success. The pieces are all in place now, and we'll strike if necessary."

Rosa Willson yells during a protest outside the annual AT&T shareholders meeting in downtown Dallas, Friday, April 28, 2017. The CWA gave AT&T notice that it would stop extending an expired contract covering wireless workers setting the state for a possible strike. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The notice of the potential strike comes at the same time as the AT&T's shareholder meeting. And while a 72-hour notice means that a strike could start Monday, AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said it may not begin as early as reports indicate. 

Kristian Hernandez carries a sign during a protest by Communication Workers of America outside the annual AT&T shareholders meeting in downtown Dallas, Friday, April 28, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

AT&T says it has contingency plans in place to continue to serve customers if employees do leave work. And while both parties are working towards a fair agreement, Richter pointed out that the deal with the CWA doesn't cover all employees. 

Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of the employees covered under the CWA contract work in AT&T stores. Roughly the same number work in its call centers, and 10 percent are field technicians. 

The union claims that AT&T has eliminated more than 12,000 jobs in the U.S. and sent them to various countries overseas. It's hoping to end this offshoring in its contract negotiations. 

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