According to the LA Times, on June 8th, AT&T workers in California and Nevada staged a work stoppage for a day to protest a memo that impugned their work ethic. AT&T is correct that without the union workers, AT&T would save a fortune. ILEC's have buckled under the strain of union benefits, payroll and pensions. Just because they negotiated these things doesn't mean that they should have planned for them. Really. It's the union's fault that the pay is high and benefits are expensive. I see it as more a sign of poor planning, years of mismanagement and lack of trust. The company signed tehse contracts but doesn't want to live up to the terms.
The 40,000 union workers have been without a contract for two months without signs that an accord will be reached by the CWA and Ma Bell.
This could end up being a problem for consumers and CLEC's if the union goes on strike. It is something to keep your eyes on.