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17,000 Contract-Less AT&T Workers Leave Jobs in ‘Grievance Strike’

Strike

Approximately 17,000 AT&T employees are on strike.

Technicians and call-center workers in California and Nevada left their jobs in a “grievance strike.” The Communications Workers of America (CWA) represents the employees, who say AT&T violated terms of their contract.

An AT&T spokesperson told Channel Partners that no wireless employees are involved in the walkout.

“We had some landline techs walk out yesterday [Tuesday] over a dispute in one local in California, and it has spread to other areas in California and Nevada,” said Marty Richter, an AT&T Corporate Communications representative. “A walkout is not in anybody’s best interest, and it’s unfortunate that the union chose to do that. We’re engaged in discussion with the union to get these employees back to work as soon as possible.”

The striking workers say AT&T was forcing West Coast technicians to work “outside their areas of expertise.” The CWA District 9 representing California and Nevada has been negotiating a new contract with AT&T for the last year without success.{ad}

“We are on strike today because AT&T is hurting us all by violating their bargaining obligations with the union. AT&T technicians work around the clock to make sure our customers get the high-quality service they need and depend on, and we are building AT&T’s billions of dollars in profits,” said Robinson Paiz, a Los Angeles-based maintenance splicer.

Richter says the company continues to negotiate with the CWA.

“We are not proposing to reduce the wages of any employees in these contracts, and we remain committed to providing great benefits,” he said.

Richter noted that AT&T aims to fill more than 4,200 union-represented positions: “We’re very prepared to continue serving customers. We’re a customer service company and we plan for all contingencies, whether related to weather, natural disasters, work stoppages or any other factors.”

The numerous contract disputes between AT&T and the CWA are difficult to keep in order. The union said two weeks ago that 38,000 wireline and DirecTV workers are demonstrating in multiple states.


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