According to Communications Workers of America, a union representing many of the company's employees who work in call centers and operate the company's telecommunications network, more than 20,000 AT & T employees in the southeastern United States have ceased their work on Saturday.
Members of CWA Local unions in nine states, including Alabama, resigned their posts on Saturday to stand in front of the AT & T facilities to protest the company's negotiating tactics. The strike involves AT & T employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
AT & T is negotiating contracts for its employees in the southeast, but the union states that the company has sent employees to negotiations who were not authorized to do business.
"We are here for a strike against unfair labor practices," said Errol Minor, Vice President of CWA Local 3902, the Birmingham chapter.
Minor led six more demonstrators in front of the AT & T building of US 280, opposite the summit. He said 3902 members protested at several AT & T locations across the Birmingham area, including downtown on 6th Avenue North, Pelham, Gardendale and Pike Road. CWA has local affiliates throughout Alabama.
"AT & T has sent negotiators to the negotiating table who have not negotiated in good faith," Minor said. "If we can get someone from [AT&T headquarters] Dallas, not just a figurehead, but someone who can bargain in good faith, it'll all go away."
AT & T spokesman Marty Richter said the company was prepared for the strike but was surprised that it happened.
"A strike is in no interest," Richter said. "We remain prepared to meet with union leaders to listen to their concerns and negotiate with them for a new, improved contract for our employees.
" We are surprised and disappointed that union leaders are striking at this point in the negotiations, especially if we offer terms that would help our employees ̵
In northern Alabama, David Betz, president of CWA Local 3905, said in a press release that the 300 strike-affected members of the chapter would return to work in good faith The negotiations were resumed.
"[O] Our demands are that AT & T will return to the negotiating table with the appropriate negotiators," said Betz. "It is not our intention to burden AT & T's customers, but the company needs to know that its employees deserve fair negotiation."
Richter said the company had offered the union competitive terms.
"We offered union conditions that are in line with those approved by other CWA representatives in recent contract negotiations, and the company has made 20 fair agreements with more than 89,000 employees since 2017," Richter said. Mail. "The contract with Southeast covers less than 8 percent of our employees.
"We are prepared for a strike and will continue to work hard to serve our customers in the event of an interruption."