The work conditions within the technical and call center departments urged employees to organize a labor strike. They want to bring to the attention of the AT&T leadership that they are no longer content with the situation. Their main dissatisfaction revolves around a federal law that their enterprise violated. In addition to their gathering, they also filed an unfair labor charge.
Labor Strike Was the Last Resort after Extensive Negotiations with AT&T
On Wednesday, there were around 17,000 AT&T workers who went on labor strike. The manifestations took place in Nevada and California. The act that ignited this event was the AT&T refusal to settle an issue presented by the union members from the Communications Workers of America, District 9. The situation they wanted to discuss is the number of employees that have been working for almost a year for the company without a contract.
The revolted workers are mostly from the customer care and technical departments. According to them, the management kept increasing their responsibilities. Eventually, their daily routine became similar to higher-paid colleagues. However, their contract and remuneration didn’t reflect their new duties. The Communications Workers of America was appalled by this management direction in their official statement.
“The company has shown disrespect to the bargaining process by changing the work assignments of workers without bargaining as required by federal law.”
The federal law the employee unions refer to is the National Labor Relations Act. According to this law, employers do not have permission to turn bargaining material into a unilateral decision. Both parties should negotiate the contractual change under official circumstances. The result of their discussion should also appear in the employee’s contract. A spokesperson for AT&T commented on the allegations that the company has always respected the collective bargaining agreements.
Elected Officials Took the Side of Employees
In the meantime, the company reassures its customers that this situation is not going to affect their relationship with the customer service department. AT&T stated that the management is always prepared to adjust the departments to the unpredictable. The company is always taking into consideration negative events such as natural disasters, bad weather reports, labor strike or other factors.
Since employees went on strike, many elected officials raised their voices to take their side. They criticized the company for perpetual technical issues with the Internet service and mobile connections. The CWA took advantage of this occasion to express discontent with other AT&T business practices. For instance, the company didn’t exhibit the right treatment towards mobile employees either.
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