JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than 20,000 AT&T workers in nine states, including Florida, went on strike Saturday.
David Colson is a wire tech for AT&T and a member of the Communications Workers of America Local 3106, but he wasn't at work Saturday.
He was standing outside in the 92-degree heat on Cassat Avenue picketing with more than two dozen other employees over what he calls “unfair labor practices.”
“We’re not out here to make AT&T look bad, we’re out here to make sure we’re taken care of so we can take care of our customers,” Colson said.
The CWA is calling out the company for negotiations over a new contract.
He said talks between the union and the company have gone nowhere.
An AT&T spokesperson sent Action News Jax this statement:
“A strike would be in no one’s best interest. We’re baffled as to why union leadership would call one when we’re offering terms that would help our employees – some of whom average from $121,000 to $134,000 in total compensation – be even better off.
“We have offered the union terms that are consistent with what other CWA-represented employees have approved in recent contract negotiations; the company has reached 20 fair agreements since 2017 covering more than 89,000 employees. The Southeast contract covers fewer than 8 percent of our employees.
“We’re prepared for a strike and in the event of a work stoppage, we will continue working hard to serve our customers.”
Colson said most of the employees picketing on Cassat Avenue work at that AT&T location, but he told me right now there are only two managers inside that are doing the work of about 30 people and that’s going to impact customers.
“You’re going to probably be out of service for a while if you’re having some issues. They’re not going to be able to get to everybody. We’re out here and there’s nobody covering what we do,” Colson said.
Now Colson is worried about how he’ll be able to support his family.
“I’ve got four kids, I got one we adopted out of foster care. I have a special needs son who’s in a wheelchair. I need to be able to take care of my family. I need to be able to make sure there’s food on my table,” he said.
Union members told Action News Jax they plan to stand outside with signs and strike at least until Wednesday.
They’re hoping AT&T will come back to the table and bargain with them.
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