21,000 AT&T mobility workers are striking across the country today– including employees right here in the Ohio Valley.
The strike began at 3 p.m at the Highlands with local employees fighting for a fair wage increase and job security.
Employees say they currently have about 150 well paying jobs, but it’s still not enough to cover increased healthcare costs.
Union members also say AT&T keeps opening more and more centers internationally and they’re shutting down centers in the U.S.
So all weekend long, employees will be on strike at the Highlands, the Highlands Call Center, Elm Grove, Weirton, the Ohio Valley Mall, and the Fort Steuben Mall.
CWA Local 2006 Vice President Paul Megna believes striking is crucial to save their jobs and to voice their concerns for a fair contract.
“We want to see if this will open their eyes and be able to get them to the table to negotiate fairly,” Megna said.
An AT&T spokesman told the New York Times that the company was offering the wireless workers wage and pension increases and finds the willingness to strike “baffling.”
AT&T has released this statement in regard to the strike:
“A strike is in no one’s best interest, and it’s baffling as to why union leadership would call one when we’re offering terms in which our employees in these contracts – some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation – will be better off financially.
We’re prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers. This involves less than 14 percent of our employees.
What’s most important is we’re all family, whether you’re a union member or not. Like any family, we have our disagreements but we’ll sort them out. We’ve reached 29 fair agreements since 2015 covering over 128,000 of our employees, and we’re confident we can do the same here,” said Josh Gelinas.
A company statement goes on to say:
We’re offering generous terms in these negotiations including annual wage and pension increases, as well as comprehensive healthcare benefits, similar to what other employees across the country have ratified in other contracts. We’re confident employees will be better off financially in their new contract.
The two contracts together involve only about 13 percent of our employees.
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