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DirecTV Workers Picket to Demand a Fair Contract that Includes Affordable Healthcare and Adequate Wage Increases

20 Jul, 2022

CWA members at DirecTV have been bargaining for a fair contract for months; AT&T and TPG Capital – the owners of DirecTV – continue to engage in divisive tactics and putting profits over workers by proposing major cuts to workers’ healthcare benefits and inadequate raises that do not keep up with inflation.

Company executives approved by TPG Capital, a private equity firm, are pushing for retrogressive proposals that are meant to maximize profits at the expense of workers.

Workers, who kept the company functioning and profitable even during the pandemic, are fighting for their fair share.

Today, Communications Workers of America (CWA) members at DirecTV call centers in Eden Prairie, Minn.; Huntington, W.Va.; and Englewood, Colo., held simultaneous informational pickets to demand a fair contract that includes good wages, benefits, and standards. The workers called on AT&T and TPG Capital – the owners of DirecTV – to meet their demands for affordable healthcare and adequate wage increases in a new contract.

“AT&T and TPG are more interested in pocketing profits than supporting workers like us,” said Rose Alvarado, Customer Service Representative at DirecTV and member of CWA Local 7750 in Englewood, Colo. “We are the people that DirecTV customers contact when they have problems using the service. If they truly cared about their customers, they would make sure that we had the support we needed to stay healthy and take care of our families.”

The members at DirecTV, AT&T’s satellite TV and digital streaming service, who primarily work in call centers as Customer Service Representatives, have been bargaining for a fair contract for months. However, AT&T and TPG have been engaging in divisive tactics and prioritizing profits over workers by presenting retrogressive proposals that include major cuts to workers’ healthcare benefits and inadequate raises that do not keep up with inflation.

“None of us should have to risk our well being and the well being of our families and coworkers by coming to work sick. Healthy employees are essential for a healthy company. AT&T and TPG should preserve our quality healthcare coverage and keep costs affordable for all workers,” said Dallas Morgan, Customer Service Representative at DirecTV and member of CWA Local 2009 in Huntington, W.Va.

Monica King, Customer Service Representative at DirecTV and member of CWA Local 2009 in Huntington, W.Va., added, “I work hard every day to make sure our customers are satisfied with their service. I shouldn’t have to struggle to put food on the table or worry about paying the bills while an investment firm benefits from my hard work and the hard work of my coworkers. Inflation and cost of living have skyrocketed since our last contract. We need adequate raises that keep up with inflation and will allow us to take care of our families. Workers, not private equity firms, are responsible for the company’s success. It’s time we receive our fair share of the profits.”

DirecTV was spun off from AT&T last August to establish a new company now co-owned by AT&T and TPG Capital, a private equity firm. TPG says that it cares about the social impact of its investments, but the actions of the TPG-approved executives prove otherwise. In the past, TPG has faced criticism for loading companies with debt and forcing them to cut jobs and sell off assets to survive. Sometimes TPG’s debt-driven deals and extraction of fees have caused companies to file for bankruptcy.

“TPG Capital didn’t get DirecTV through the pandemic, but our members did. It’s time the workers were given the respect they deserve,” said Kieran Knutson, President of CWA Local 7250 in Eden Prairie, Minn.

The workers refuse to stand by as TPG and AT&T maximize profits at their expense. They are fighting back and demanding a fair contract that recognizes the value they bring to the company and the customers. The company’s ongoing success has been possible only because of the workers’ continued hard work. They kept the company functioning and profitable, even through a global public health crisis. It is time DirecTV recognizes the value of its workers with a fair contract.

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About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.

cwa-union.org@cwaunion

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