More than 20,000 AT&T employees in the Southeast left work Saturday, according to Communications Workers of America, an alliance representing many of the company's employees who work in call centers and maintain the company's telecommunications network.
Members of CWA local unions in nine states, including Alabama, quit their positions and take seats in AT&T facilities to protest the company's negotiating tactics. The strike involved AT&T officials in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
AT&T is negotiating contracts for its employees in Southeast Europe, but the union says the company has sent people to negotiate with them.
"We're here for a strike for unfair labor practices," says Errol Minor, vice president of CWA Local 3902, Birmingham chapter.
The juvenile is leading six other protesters in front of the AT&T building at a cost of $ 280 against the summit. He said 3902 members were protesting in front of several AT&T locations in the Birmingham area, including downtown on 6th Avenue North, Pelham, Gardendale and Pike Road. CWA has local chapters located in Alabama.
"AT&T sent negotiators to the negotiating table who did not negotiate in good faith," Maller said. "If we can get anyone from [AT&T headquarters] Dallas, not just a figure, but someone who can trade in good faith, then all of that will be gone."
AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said the company was prepared for the strike but was surprised it happened.
"The strike is not in our best interest," Richter said. "We remain ready to sit down with union leaders to listen to their concerns and work with them to negotiate a new, improved contract for our employees.
"We are surprised and disappointed that union leaders will strike at this time. in negotiations, especially when we are offering terms that would help our employees ̵
In northern Alabama, CWA Local 3905 President David Betz said in a news release that 300 members of the head affected by the strike will return to work in good faith negotiations are resumed.
"[O] ur requests ur AT&T to return to the negotiating table with the respective negotiators," Betz said. "It is not our intention to place any undue hardship on AT&T customers, however, the company must know that their employees deserve fair negotiation."
Richter stated that the company had offered competitive terms to the union.
"We have proposed union terms that are consistent with those approved by other CWA officials in recent contract negotiations; the company has reached 20 fair agreements from 2017 covering more than 89,000 employees, "Richter said by email. "The contract in Southeast Europe covers less than 8 percent of our employees.
"We are prepared for a strike and in the event of a work stoppage, we will continue to work hard to serve our customers. “