Upstate workers protest AT&T during contract negotiations

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Hundreds of AT&T workers in the Upstate are on strike.  

They say they won’t return to work without a new contract.

They took to the streets Monday with a message for AT&T negotiators.

Members of Communications Workers Association says the company is not negotiating fairly.

Union leaders say AT&T is refusing to send officials who can negotiate a new contract for workers to union meetings in Atlanta.

“Right now we can’t even bargain at all because the company representatives that are there they have no authority to make any decisions,” John Tabor said.

Tabor works for AT&T.

There are many different workers on strike.

Outside technicians and customer service are among those protesting. 

The protest is happening across nine states.

Around 22,000 workers say it’s time for AT&T to take a seat at the table and make a deal.

“Just send somebody that could actually make a decision and stop sending middle men out there to waste time the company can resolve this issue very quickly,” DJ Pearson said.

AT&T responded with this statement:

“We strongly disagree with the union’s claims of unfair labor practices. 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.”

Our overall comment on the job action is:

“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’re prepared for a strike and will continue working hard to serve our customers.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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