Local AT&T workers go on strike today

(Dreamstime)

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(Dreamstime)

More than 300 Dayton area AT&T workers represented by the Communications Worker of America Local 4322 have gone on strike today, according to an union representative.

The CWA has been in ongoing contract talks since March with AT&T on behalf of 14,000 workers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as its nationwide Legacy T contract.

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The Dayton workers walked out around 10 a.m.

Jeff Mitchell, the chief steward with CWA Local 4322, said the walkout is over unfair labor practices by the company. He said AT&T has been trying to negotiate with workers directly through email communications.

Mitchell claims the company is stalling during negotiations taking place in Chicago, but AT&T spokesman Marty Richer said the company will “continue to discuss with the union.”

“After over 10 weeks of negotiations, we presented the union with a final offer with a goal of bringing this process to a close and reaching fair agreement for our employees,” Richter said via email. “After we presented terms to the union at the bargaining table, we communicated them to our employees, as permitted by law.”

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CWA Local 4322 represents outside technicians that do installation and repair work for telephone service, internet service, that install and repair Direct TV, construction and call center workers and engineers, according to Mitchell.

When asked how long the workers would be on strike, Mitchell said “it could be indefinite.”

Not all AT&T workers with the CWA have gone on strike in the Midwest, a union spokesman said. Workers were seen outside at the company’s call center today on First Street in downtown Dayton.

Today’s walkout “is in nobody’s best interest, and it’s unfortunate that the union chose to do that,” Richter said. The dispute, Richter said, won’t impact customers though.

“We’re very prepared to continue serving customers. We’re a customer service company and we plan for all contingencies, whether related to weather, natural disasters, or even work stoppages,” Richter said via email.

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