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CWA Members Vote to Strike AT&T Mobility
Posted: 08-Feb-2009 [Source: CWA]

[The Communication Workers of America and AT&T Mobility negotiations break down as strike deadline looms.]

Washington, DC -- Negotiations resumed earlier Sunday between the Communications Workers of America and AT&T Mobility, but CWA said that union and company bargainers remain far apart on several important issues. No further talks are scheduled at this time.

CWA Executive Vice President Annie Hill said, "CWA is prepared to bargain at any time. However, AT&T Mobility needs to come to the bargaining table ready to discuss and resolve some very complicated issues, and so far, the company has shown no willingness to do so."

The contract covering AT&T Mobility workers is set to expire at midnight. CWA sought a longer extension so that the bargainers could resolve some very complex issues, but AT&T Mobility management has refused.

"CWA is disappointed that Mobility management seems unwilling to hammer out an agreement at the bargaining table. Instead, the company has used scare tactics to frighten employees, forcing CWA to file charges against AT&T Mobility with the National Labor Relations Board," Hill added.

AT&T Mobility employees will report to work as scheduled for now.

On Friday, by an 85 percent yes vote, CWA members at AT&T Mobility sent a strong message to management and AT&T that members' concerns about compensation, employment security and working conditions must be addressed.

In an overwhelming vote of support for the bargaining team, Mobility members voted to authorize a strike if a contract that addresses their key issues cannot be reached.

Under CWA's process, workers vote whether to authorize a strike, then the CWA Executive Board ratifies that action. The final step is approval by the CWA president who sets a strike date.

The CWA bargaining team reports very little progress and stressed that many issues need to be resolved. The contract expires Feb. 7 at midnight (12:01 am, Feb. 8).

"For AT&T Mobility members, a critical bargaining goal is to build a career path and opportunity for jobs within the industry, and to stabilize incomes," said CWA Executive Vice President Annie Hill.

Negotiations are continuing. The current contract covers 20,000 CWA members in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, the mid-West, Mountain States and the West Coast.

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