PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - In Indio, Palm Springs, La Quinta and Palm Desert -- AT&T employees who sell the company's products and services are on strike after failed contract negotiations.
"We do a lot of extra work with no pay increase. We're fighting for equal pay for our workload, we're also fighting for our health insurance costs not going up. I have a family to support and they want me to pay 20 percent more each month," AT&T Mobility employee Bethany Sorensen said.
Over the weekend, stores will likely remain open with management covering staff.
One store in Indio felt the pressure of not having employees on the floor Friday.
They put up a sign saying they'll be closing early.
"I hope they realize that without their employees they're nothing. They need us to make business grow," AT&T Mobility employee Itati Terejo said.
We reached out to AT&T for comment, they sent us a statement saying "A strike is in no one's best interest, and it's baffling as to why union leadership would call one when we're offering terms in which our employees in these contracts – some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation – will be better off financially. We're prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers. This involves less than 14 percent of our employees."
35,000 employees with the company's cell phone, landline and Directv services are taking part in the strike nationwide.
"This strike is a shout out to AT&T to let them know that we are ready to go on a full-on strike. This is a three-day strike to let them know that we are going to fight for our benefits, fight for our pension," AT&T Mobility employee Thomas Waltman said.
Employees said the company and the union are far apart on closing the deal on a new contract.