Sometimes when you’re so fed up with working conditions, you have to take a stand—and that’s exactly what thousands of AT&T workers are doing all across the southeast courtesy of an AT&T strike.
As reported by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (@ajcnews,) beginning on August 23, more than 20,000 AT&T union workers decided to go on strike, with 4,000 workers located in Georgia alone. Members of the Communication Workers of America took aim at AT&T by accusing the company of unfair labor practices during negotiations to secure a new contract.
The previous contract recently expired earlier this month on August 3rd. Negotiation talks have been at a standstill since then because the company has made sure that an agreement cannot happen, according to the southeast’s union vice president Richard Honeycutt.
“Our talks have stalled because it has become clear that AT&T has not sent negotiators who have the power to make decisions so we can move forward toward a new contract.”
AT&T, which is based in Dallas, has annual revenue of about $170 billion a year and company officials said they were blindsided and mystified by the strike call.
AT&T spokesman Jim Kimberly had this to say:
“We’re baffled as to why union leadership would call one when we’re offering terms that would help our employees — some of whom average from $121,000 to $134,000 in total compensation — be even better off.”
In the days before the contract expired, AT&T officials said they would be prepared for a strike and that business operations would go on smoothly with managers, executives and contractors picking up the slack. “We’re prepared for a strike and in the event of a work stoppage, we will continue working hard to serve our customers,” said Kimberly.
The AJC also reports that union workers are not taking the word of AT&T officials and want their demands met. Union leaders argue that the company will have to prioritize work delaying new installations and non-emergency maintenance as a start for things to get better. Union officials also say that the key issues are job security and a steady rise in healthcare costs.
Reportedly some union members were picketing at select AT&T sites, including in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Additionally, the union said it has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that the company has not bargained in good faith.
The union’s Southeast region includes technicians, customer service representatives and others who “install, maintain and support” the company’s landline and internet line services. The region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Roommates, what are your thoughts on this?