CWA continues token strikes at AT&T Midwest—workers demand decisive struggle


CWA continues token strikes at AT&T Midwest—workers demand decisive struggle

Shannon Jones

4 June 2018

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is continuing a series of “unfair labor relations” strikes at AT&T work locations in the US Midwest as talks continue without progress for 14,000 wireline workers at AT&T Midwest and Legacy T operations.

The CWA has refused to call a system-wide strike as it attempts to diffuse worker anger and militancy through a series of isolated and disjointed actions. Workers are opposing a slew of concession demands from management in health care as well as continued job cuts. In the current talks, while the CWA has claimed progress on secondary matters, it reports no resolution of key issues such as wages, benefits and job security.

Workers registered a 90 percent strike authorization vote in April. However, the union ordered workers to stay on the job when the contract expired April 14. AT&T Midwest covers workers in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. AT&T Legacy T workers are employed nationwide.

The local walkouts involve workers in Milwaukee, the Detroit area, Dayton and Youngstown, Ohio, and other locations. However, some AT&T workers have been ordered to stay on the job in a deliberate bid by the CWA to undermine the unity and effectiveness of the action.

Local CWA officials told the media that the strikes were called not to protest the company’s intransigent bargaining stance, but against attempts by management to contact workers directly over terms of the AT&T proposal, bypassing the union. The CWA has maintained a virtual blackout on negotiations. The union clearly fears that management, by informing AT&T workers of its provocative demands, may undermine the union’s ability to contain rank-and-file…

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