LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A union representing AT&T workers says about 17,000 employees in California and Nevada have gone on strike.

The workers install cable and phone service and work in call centers where customers can phone in with questions and problems.

Union local official Sheila Bordeaux says AT&T is asking technicians who install cable to also work outside maintaining phone and cable wires, which is a higher-paid job. She says they will strike until the issue is resolved.

“They are unilaterally and continually changing the job duties of our premise technicians to do a higher wage job at a lower rate of pay,” Bordeaux told the LA Times.

Union members also say AT&T has closed some U.S. call centers, including a center in Anaheim, to hire overseas workers in countries such as the Philippines and Mexico, the Times reports.

AT&T and the union are also negotiating a new contract for the workers.

“We’re currently negotiating with the union in a good faith effort to reach a fair labor agreement,” AT&T spokesman Marty Richter told the LA Times.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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