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News : 1,700 AT&T Workers on Strike in San Diego
San Diego, CA, USa May 24, 2016 -- About 1,700 San Diego AT&T workers remained on strike over a contract grievance regarding the way that company monitors sales and customer service representatives.
Members of the Communications Workers of America Local 9509 walked off the job late Thursday night. They are picketing at the company’s call center in Miramar and other locations.
The grievance strike centers on the methods used by AT&T to check up on its sales and customer service reps on the job, said Carlos Munoz, district steward for CWA Local 9509. It is not related to the CWA strike against Verizon that began April 13 and involves about 40,000 workers mostly on the East Coast.
Munoz said Local 9509 has requested call center employee monitoring reports from AT&T, which the company is required to provide under the collective bargaining agreement.
AT&T has not supplied the 500 reports that the union requested to make sure the company is following contract rules. The company has offered to review the union’s concerns over three individual reports.
The documents were sought after a former AT&T service rep in San Diego received a judgment of more than $1 million in a wrongful termination civil lawsuit, according to CWA Local 9509.
"We have the contractual right to request reports that show who is listening to our members," said Munoz. "That’s where the issue lies; knowing who is listening to our members is where we are finding multiple violations."
Other CWA locals are preparing similar requests for service and sales personnel monitoring reports from AT&T, said Munoz.
The company said the strike is limited to the San Diego region and involves wireline employees, not employees in its cell phone business. Monitoring is a common practice for companies that operate call centers to ensure good customer service, according to an AT&T spokesperson.
"We're a customer-oriented company and prepare for any contingency — whether it's an earthquake, a flood, or an employee walkout," the company said in a statement.
AT&T and Local 9509 are talking but have not come a settlement.
"A walkout is not in anybody's best interest, and it's unfortunate that the union local chose to call a grievance strike over a matter that could be resolved while employees are at work serving customers and earning a paycheck," the company said. "As always, we're willing to discuss the issue with the union, and we look forward to resolving it and getting these employees back to work."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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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, May 26, 2016