AT&T workers strike in Connecticut, nationwide

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NEW YORK — The Communications Workers of America union said that up to 40,000 AT&T workers have started walking off the job over contract fights with the phone company. They'll return to work Monday.

That includes 21,000 workers on the wireless side of the company, which the union said raises the prospect that some cellphone stores could be closed this weekend in Washington, D.C., or one of the 36 states affected. Wireless workers want wage increases that cover higher health care costs, better scheduling and promises from the company to not cut jobs.

Some 17,000 other potential protesters come from AT&T's home phone, internet and cable division in California, Nevada and Connecticut. Another 2,000 are DirecTV workers in California and Nevada.

Dallas-based AT&T said it has a contingency workforce" ready in preparation for the walkouts.

On Friday, more than 1,000 employees statewide walked off the job. AT&T argues that it is offering wage and pension increases and its terms are in line with other employee union contracts.