More than 20,000 Communications Workers of America members at AT&T Southeast continued their protests in the four-day strike this week, among them are employees in Moulton.
The CWA, a union representing many of AT&T’s call center representatives and outside technicians, said the strike began around midnight on Friday, Aug. 23.
According to other news reports, the strike ended Wednesday, Aug. 28, and employees who went on strike returned to work at 1 p.m. the same day.
Strikers who protested “unfair labor practices committed by (AT&T) management during negotiations for a new contract,” included AT&T employees in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina, according to a CWA news release.
Lawrence County members at AT&T, Adam Oliver and Colby McNeal, continued picketing on Monday in front of the AT&T station on Alabama Highway 33 in Moulton.
“This is our work center, we report to,” Oliver said on Monday. “The last time they conducted a strike was 1983. It’s all new to us, but we’re going to be here every day until it’s over. There’s someone here from 7:00 in the morning to 7:00 at night.”
CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against AT&T for not bargaining in good faith with the union.
“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,” Honeycutt said in the release. “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 move forward toward a new contract.”
In North Alabama, CWA Local 3905, which represents about 980 members from Cullman to Stevenson, Alabama, said they have about 300 members who are affected by the strike.
“These dedicated members started walking the picket lines at 7:00 a.m. on Aug. 24,” the news release states. “If you ask us what our demands are, our demands are that AT&T get back to the bargaining table with the appropriate negotiators. It is not our intent to put any undue hardship on AT&T’s customers, however, the company must know their employees deserve fair negotiations.”
AT&T spokesperson Marty Richter said the company disagrees with the claim of unfair labor practices.
“A strike is in no one’s best interest. We remain ready to sit down with union leaders to negotiate a new, improved contract for our employees,” he said. “Our bargaining team is negotiating this contract with CWA leaders in the same way we have successfully done with dozens of other CWA contracts over the years. We listen, engage in substantive discussions and share proposals back and forth until we reach agreement.”