Thirteen persons from Occupy Atlanta, Atlanta Jobs with Justice, and Communications Workers of America, including four members of Atlanta DSA, were arrested on Monday 13 February after sitting in at AT&T’s Atlanta headquarters. They were protesting the company’s recent announcement of 740 planned layoffs after boasting of record profits and paying their CEO $27 million in 2011.
Atlanta has the largest wealth gap between rich and poor people, out of any major city in the US. AT&T will make that gap even larger by laying off 95 workers in Georgia and 70 in Atlanta and adding to Georgia’s 9.7 percent unemployment rate.
Seventy union members and supporters rallied outside. “There’s plenty of work out here to be done, there is a lot of forced overtime and not enough folks to do the work. AT&T needs to reduce the money going into the CEO’s and the big manager’s pockets. That money needs to go to keep people on payroll,” said Walter Andrews, President of Communications Workers of America local 3204.
Occupy Atlanta set up 15 tents in preparation for a larger rally outside the AT&T headquarters on Valentine’s Day.