CenturyLink Union Workers Authorize Strike in Contract Dispute

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CenturyLink technicians and other workers in Florida who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have rejected a proposed contract and approved a strike authorization vote.

CWA Local 3176 announced the strike authorization approval and has launched a website outlining its issues with CenturyLink. Also, Florida State Sen. Victor Torres sent a letter to Glen Post III, CenturyLink’s president and CEO, supporting the workers.

“While I understand that a corporation has to meet certain financial goals to satisfy its stockholders, I also believe that the corporation should deeply consider the needs of its employees,” he said. “My understanding is that the company is proposing what amounts to as ‘take always,’ which removes some current employee benefits of the contract while offering nothing in return.”

According to Local 3176, Centurylink is “paving the way to outsource the jobs of its employees to contractors as they continue to do throughout the company.”

“As they outsource to foreign contractors more Americans lose their jobs,” it said. “When technician jobs are contracted out you get substandard work from someone who is low paid, has no benefits and doesn’t truly care about your service. Why should they? As a contractor they have no job protections and they can be let go at any time.”{ad}

CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen said the telco and Local 3176 have mutually agreed to extend the current labor contract, and it remains in full force and effect. Workers remain on the job, he said.

“The company has proposed a new agreement to the union, but a vote has not yet occurred,” he said. “It is our goal that we come to a mutually successful conclusion, as we have in the past.”

Local 3176 said it wants CenturyLink to: maintain current employment protections; to treat workers with the “respect that the company demands from us”; and to “stop the constant outsourcing of jobs both internally and externally.”

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