NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Members of Communications Works of America (CWA) who work at AT&T Southeast have gone on strike. CWA cites unfair labor practices committed by AT&T management during contract negotiations.
CWA filed the charge of unfair labor practice with the National Relations Board, alleging AT&T failed to bargain contracts in good faith, while also sending representatives without authority to make decisions to the bargaining table.
"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," said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 Vice President. "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 more forward toward a new contract."
The strike is said to involve over 20,000 technicians and customer service representatives, as well as those who install, maintain and support AT&T's residential and business telecommunications network in nine states. Those states comprise Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.
"It's important to our members that we have a fair equitable contract and that someone from AT&T shows up who can make a decision," said Deborah Sisco, President of CWA Local 3808. "We’re united and strong and what we’re asking for is for them to send someone to the table that can actually make a decision with the bargaining,"
AT&T Tennessee operates separately from AT&T Southeast, but it appears Tennessee workers are also participating in the strike.
When NewsChannel 5 reached out to AT&T for a statement, their representative said, "We’re aware of some localized walkouts at a small number of locations outside of Tennessee. We’re prepared for this type of event, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers."