About 17,000 AT&T Inc workers in California and Nevada went on strike on Wednesday, alleging that the company violated contract terms by forcing employees to do work outside their areas of expertise.
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The employees, who work in the company's phone, landline and cable services businesses, have been working without a contract for almost a year. Last year, the workers, who are represented by the Communications Workers of America, voted to authorize a strike.
AT&T had 268,000 employees as of Jan. 31, according to a filing. The company said it was prepared to continue serving customers.
"A walkout is not in anybody’s best interest, and it’s unfortunate that the union chose to do that," AT&T said in a statement. "We’re engaged in discussion with the union to get these employees back to work as soon as possible."