AT&T strike includes some Great Falls employees

AT&T strike includes some Great Falls employees

AT&T and the Communications Workers of America are back at the bargaining table after a weekend strike of retail and call center workers in 36 states including Minnesota.

"Today, almost 40,000 wireless, wireline and DirecTV workers across the country are returning to work and CWA is looking forward to returning to the bargaining table with the expectation we see genuine proposals that protect good jobs and quality service from AT&T", said Sarrah Nasser, an AT&T wireless call center representative, in a prepared statement.

Employees with the Communications Workers of America union are working without a contract.

The workers picketed outside the Kaahumanu Avenue entrance of the shopping center while the store remained open, operated by managers and vendors, according to AT&T officials.

"AT&T hasn't been bargaining like they should they need to commit to bargaining", Hayhurst said.

While the Elm Grove retail store was closed, AT&T sent in management employees from North Carolina to man retail locations at The Highlands and the Ohio Valley Mall, according to Megna.

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Some of the items that the union is fighting for is healthcare, pension, and keeping their jobs from outsourcing of retail stores and call centers.

The absence of a contract has left AT&T workers without the right of arbitration, among other limitations. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant also turned out to support the strike, joining picket lines in their respective states. "They deserve a fair contract that puts people ahead of corporate profits", he added.

Slightly over half of the workers on strike are part of the wireless segment and the rest wireline workers, including a small number of DirecTV technicians, AT&T spokesman Marty Richter told Reuters.

The strike commenced when the union's deadline passed with no new contract in place.

We're prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers. Like any family we have our disagreements but we'll sort them out.

Meanwhile, AT&T says it believes the contract is generous, and believes employees will be better off financially if they stick with it.

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