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SBC workers use four-day weekend to taunt management

Onshore strike

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Close to 100,000 SBC employees plan show their displeasure with the trend of sending telco jobs overseas by going on strike this week.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) issued a statement today declaring that union employees at SBC in 13 states will boycott work from May 21 to May 25. In addition to the strike, CWA will put more muscle behind campaigns to shift customers from SBC to fellow union carrier AT&T. The union's biggest gripe stems from "new growth jobs" in areas such as Internet data services, Wi-Fi hotspot installation and VoIP services being sent overseas.

CWA claims 29,000 SBC workers have lost their jobs over the past three years with "virtually all" of this work being shipped to India and the Philippines.

"SBC continues to refuse to give this work to our members, the frontline workers who have built SBC into the nation's most profitable telecom company," said Morton Bahr, president of CWA.

SBC and CWA have been in negotiations over a variety of issues, including job security, job growth and health care benefits. The two parties, however, have clearly reached a temporary impasse.

"We are making this a limited job action right now to drive it home to SBC that our members are serious about securing their future at SBC," said Bahr. "We know that a prolonged strike could cause a loss of major customers and do significant damage to the company, and hopefully that can be avoided."

Fighting against offshoring is all the rage these days. Last month, IBM workers held a protest outside of a shareholder meeting and called for investors to send CEO Sam Palmisano off to India. ®

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