Members of Communications Workers of America at AT&T Southeast have been on strike through the weekend with plans on continuing this week until union officials call a halt.
The union went on strike at midnight Friday over AT&T management's unfair labor practices during negotiations for a new contract, according to a union news release.
Union members gathered at the AT&T office on Pine Street in Florence on Sunday.
Union 911 President Jeremey Lindsey said the strike involves nine states in District 3.
"We're striking due to the company refusing to send an (official arbitrator) to the table to negotiate," he said as he stood with fellow union members at the Pine Street location. "We need someone (from AT&T) who can make decisions."
Communications Workers of America (CWA) has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against AT&T for not bargaining in good faith.
“We entered these negotiations prepared to bargain in good faith with AT&T to address our members’ concerns and to work together to find solutions,” CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt said in the release. “Our talks have stalled because it has become clear that AT&T has not sent negotiators who have the power to make decisions so we can move forward toward a new contract.”
According to CWA, the strike will involve more than 20,000 technicians, customer service representatives and others who install, maintain and support AT&T’s residential and business wireline telecommunications network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Additional unfair labor practice charges have been filed against the company in Florida for illegally disciplining members for wearing union memorabilia and for participating in activities that are protected under the National Labor Relations Act. CWA members in South Florida initiated a strike over the company’s unfair labor practices on Aug. 22.