Yesterday we had family and friends gather at the 675 W Peachtree AT$T building. Over 90 AT$T employees, community members, CWA members, occupiers, Jobs with Justice folks, Teamsters and others united in fellowship. There were activities for the kids including face painting, arts and crafts, button making, live music, bicycle repair trainings and more.The Communications Workers of America (CWA) provided the home cooking which included some delicious potato salad, burgers, hot dogs and more. We pulled up a truck and put the grill in the truck bed so that the food could be prepared on site.
It was beautiful to see families standing together against these devastating proposed layoffs. Each layoff would impact not only the individual employee, but the family that she or he supports and the community in which they inhabit. Unemployment is one of the leading causes of foreclosure. This is precisely why the simple act of gathering in fellowship with a broad swath of not only AT$T employees whose jobs are on the chopping block but the whole community that will be impacted by these proposed job cuts is so important. This community and family strength was highlighted when all of the children gathered together and wrote letters to AT$T explaining why their parents should not be laid off. The children organized together and then ran to the large revolving door at the 675 W Peachtree St. building. (Remember, these doors have been locked for the past 25 days due to the sustained pressure on AT$T from the encampment). The children then left the letters at the revolving door and pleaded for AT$T not to cut the jobs.
The occupation of AT$T continues to grow. As does the unity of our community. Our request is simple and humble. Negotiate with the CWA about rescinding all of the 740 proposed job cuts. To date, AT$T has rescinded over 200 of these job cuts. This is a small victory, but considering the amount of money that AT$T makes off of our community we demand the respect of decent jobs and labor relations for our community members. Now.