AT&T workers are on strike over contract negotiations

The deadline also applies to talks with about 21,000 workers in AT&T's wireless business spread across 36 states and Washington, D.C.as those contracts expired in February.

AT&T said in a statement, "We're offering generous terms in these negotiations including annual wage and pension increases, as well as comprehensive healthcare benefits, similar to what other employees across the country have ratified in other contracts".

Update: As of 3 pm EDT on Friday, 40,000 AT&T employees have gone on strike. "Your bargaining team has worked countless hours to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement, but this company is refusing to budge on the issues that matter the most to us", said the union in a statement.

This weekend's strike comes almost two months after 17,000 AT&T workers in Nevada and California walked off the job. The strike ended when workers won an agreement with the company that it will no longer require employees to do work outside of their expertise and classification.

Richter said AT&T had successfully negotiated contracts covering almost 130,000 workers since 2015, and that fewer than five of the company's more than 25,000 retail workers lost jobs past year because of store closings.

AT&T, meanwhile, said it was prepared for the strike, the Register reported, adding the company has defended its negotiating position.

It's now in AT&T's hands to stand with workers or at 3 p.m.

It isn't the first strike at AT&T. Our demands are clear and have been for months: fair contract or strike.

AT&T workers are expected to picket outside their stores throughout the weekend, including on Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile. Thousands of members with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union are preparing to hit the picket lines and start striking.

"We want (management) to come to the table on Monday and bargain for a fair contract", Gibson said.

The strikers - AT&T wireless, wireline and DIRECTV workers - are members of Communications Workers of America.

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