News : Union Workers on Two-day Strike Against AT&T
Aug 7, 2012 -- About 1,700 union AT&T employees in San Diego and Imperial counties joined counterparts statewide and on the East Coast in a two-day strike over stalled contract negotiations.
Communications Workers of America members in California, Nevada and Connecticut manned picket lines around AT&T facilities in the first day of the job action.
In all, about 20,000 wireline workers in the three states participated in the strike.
Bob Borunda, president of CWA local 9509 in San Diego, said union members have been working without a contract since April. Union leaders called the strike in hopes of re-starting negotiations.
"They’re not talking," said Borunda. "It has come to a point where there is no movement."
He called the walk-out an unfair labor practices strike that involved field technicians, central office workers, call center workers and other CWA members. Perhaps the largest number of pickets locally was at an AT&T's call center in Sorrento Mesa, which employs about 600 workers.
Negotiations center around health benefits, wages and pensions, Borunda said. There also are talks related to a group of former contract employees who were brought into the union in recent years at lower wage rates.
A&T claims it is negotiating. It recently reached tentative three-year agreement with CWA workers in the Southeast. In July, it inked a tentative deal with the CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members in the Midwest.
The company said the strike in California, Nevada and Connecticut was "not in anyone’s best interest, and it’s unfortunate local union leaders in the West and East region chose to take this action.
"These employees are very well compensated, and they will continue to be," the company said in a statement. "AT&T is not proposing to reduce the wages of any employees in these contracts, or to take away their benefits."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Recognized as a worldwide provider of IP-based communications services to businesses, AT&T is also a provider of wireless, high speed Internet access, Wi-Fi, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services.
Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012