17,000 AT&T Workers On Strike

A union representing AT&T workers says about 17,000 employees in California and Nevada have gone on strike.  A total of 200 union workers began picketing on Watt Avenue in Sacramento Wednesday.

The workers on the picket lines are said to be responsible for installing cable and phone service and work in call centers where customers can phone in with questions and problems.

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AT&T is asking technicians who install cable to also work outside maintaining phone and cable wires, which is a higher-paid job. 

Robert Longer of CWA Local 9421 in Sacramento says worker are being asked to do higher pay grade work - without the higher pay. 

"They directed our members to do work that is above their pay grade," says Longer. "That is a clear violation of our contract, which is still in full effect."

Longer adds that they are just asking to maintain a fair contract. 

Spokesman Steve Maviglio says AT&T is engaged in discussion with the union to get workers back on the job as soon as possible. 

"Our goal is to continue to provide our employees with high-quality careers with wages and benefits that are among the best in the country," says Mavigilo.

Representatives with AT&T have not immediately respond to requests for an interview. The workers will strike until the issue is resolved.

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