LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – More than 20,000 At&T working across the southeast are on strike Saturday, including some in Kentucky. The workers say they’re protesting over unfair labor practices.
Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Board over the way workers were treated during contract negotiations.
“Today thousands of workers all around the Southeast are showing that they are fed up with AT&T’s refusal to bargain in good faith,” CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt said. “It is not easy to go on strike. These families are making sacrifices because they know how important it is to move forward with these negotiations. We are strong, we are determined, and we will prevail.”
AT&T issued a statement about the strike:
“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. Our bargaining team is negotiating this contract with CWA leaders in the same way we have successfully done with other CWA contracts over the years. We listen, engage in substantive discussions and share proposals back and forth until we reach agreement.
That’s why we’re surprised and disappointed that union leaders would call for a strike at this point in the negotiations, particularly when we’re offering terms that would help our employees – some of whom average from $121,000 to $134,000 in total compensation – be even better off.
We have offered the union terms that are consistent with what other CWA-represented employees have approved in recent contract negotiations; the company has reached 20 fair agreements since 2017 covering more than 89,000 employees. The Southeast contract covers fewer than 8 percent of our employees.
We’re prepared for a strike and will continue working hard to serve our customers.”
The strike is across nine states; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.