Around 17,000 of AT&T’s landline employees walked away on Wednesday as negotiations were taking place between AT&T and its employees in both Nevada and California. The CWA (Communications Workers of America) is representing the employees in negotiations concerning the creation of a new contract. The CWA said that employees aren’t happy with several alterations that AT&T has made to landline technician job requirements, which are said to have happened without the union’s approval.
Negotiations had failed to lead to a mutually satisfactory conclusion after several days. AT&T said that the worker’s strike does not affect departments overseeing wireless services. In addition, AT&T has stated that it is actively seeking a solution that will satisfy all parties involved and that they hope to come to this solution in a timely manner. The CWA has a different opinion and doesn’t believe that AT&T is actively seeking a solution that has the best interest of its workers in mind. AT&T Spokesperson Mary Richter doesn’t believe that the walkout is good for either of the involved parties. According to Richter, AT&T plans to carry on serving their customers and has implied that the strike itself is not going to negatively affect the company.
Employees of both States had been working under a contract, however that contract expired nearly a year ago. The CWA says that AT&T is not being fair to its employees in regards to the negotiations. Thousands of positions have been eliminated by AT&T causing employees to seek new employment after cuts to the call center and landline technician positions. Due of these job cuts, Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T caught the attention of officials who felt the need to remind the company of the effects its actions were having on the population. Officials were also quick to point out that AT&T had been slow to deliver its promised high-speed internet connection to more remote areas. AT&T has reached an agreement with other union protected workers and has stated that it would bring close to 3,000 jobs back to the United States. It is still unclear if AT&T will deliver on this promise, and while workers in the southwest are waiting for these jobs to return, 17,000 workers in California and Nevada are waiting for AT&T to offer a solution in those States that are beneficial to both the union protected workers and the company itself.