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Striking AT&T Union Workers ‘Would Not Back Down,’ Return to Work After ‘Handshake Deal’

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More than 20,000 Southeast AT&T workers returned to work Wednesday after four days on strike as the carrier and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) reached a “handshake deal” on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The workers went on strike this past weekend after negotiations failed to yield a deal. The workers’ contract expired on Aug. 3.

The CWA said more details will be available after negotiators meet.

The CWA filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against AT&T for “not bargaining in good faith and not sending representatives to the bargaining table with the authority to make decisions.”

On Wednesday, the CWA said AT&T representatives with authority to bargain came to the table this week.

“CWA members’ spirit and solidarity over the last four days showed the company that we would not back down until they bargained with us in good faith,” said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 vice president. “This was a historic strike that showed the power that working people have when they join together.”

AT&T spokesman Marty Richter confirmed the striking wireline employees returned work in the Southeast.

“We’ve been working with the union’ s bargaining team and we’ve been committed throughout the process to reaching a fair agreement,” he said. “Out of respect for the bargaining process we don’t have anything else to add at this time.”

The strike involved technicians, customer service representatives and others who install, maintain and support AT&T’s residential and business wireline telecommunications network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Last month, the workers voted to authorize a strike if necessary.


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