AT&T Workers On Strike In Southeast States

(RTTNews) - AT&T's operations in nine southeastern states were hit as more than 20,000 workers protested over unfair labor practices during negotiations for a new contract.

Members of the Communications Workers of America or CWA, the country's largest communications and media labor union, at the telecom giant walked off the job on Saturday.

The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against AT&T for not bargaining in good faith. CWA also accused that the company sent representatives to the bargaining table who do not have the real authority to make proposals or to reach an agreement with the workers.

In a statement, CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt said, "We entered these negotiations prepared to bargain in good faith with AT&T to address our members' concerns and to work together to find solutions. 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."

The strike involved technicians, customer service representatives, among others in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These workers install, maintain and support AT&T's residential and business wireline telecommunications network.

CWA has also filed additional charges against the company in Florida for illegally disciplining members for wearing union memorabilia and for participating in activities that are protected under the National Labor Relations Act.

Responding to the strike, AT&T spokesperson Jim Kimberly reportedly said that the company has offered the union terms that are consistent with what other CWA-represented employees have approved in recent contract negotiations.
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