Members of the Communications Workers of America Local 3312 have gathered outside of the AT&T building, located at 720 Frederica Street, as part of a union strike being held in protest of the US-based telecoms company. Members of this union say the strike unfolded on Friday at midnight in response to unfair labor practices that have affected over 20,000 people across nine states.
Eight members of America Local 3312 stood together on Monday holding signs that read, “C.W.A. On Strike” and “AT&T Unfair” as they explained why taking time off work to hold a strike was important to the members of their union.
According to C.W.A. Local 3312 President Norman Franklin, members of C.W.A. Local 3312 District 3 are the ones enduring unfair labor practices on behalf of the company they work for. District 3 includes southeastern states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
Franklin said AT&T sent a bargaining team comprised of nine people — one representative for each state the district — to negotiate a new contract for members of the union. As it turned out, he said, those representatives had no negotiating power.
“They sent a bargaining team to Atlanta to bargain a contract, and those nine people picked up and moved to Atlanta to bargain this contract for us,” he said. “After months, it was revealed that those individuals had no [ability to bargain].”
Franklin said this is the first time in his 19 years with the company that an unfair labor strike has ever been held.
Members of the union say they will not return to work until the strike is over. With over 20,000 employees currently not working, members are hopeful this situation can get turned around quickly.
“Our hope is, eventually, we will get a new contract,” Franklin said. “They’re back at the table today. Our guys are there with AT&T.”
Franklin said he isn’t sure exactly how many from Owensboro and Daviess County have been affected by this situation, but that he oversees employees who work in the local area, as well as those who live in 11 counties surrounding Daviess County.