AT&T workers go on strike over contract dispute

By  | 

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Thousands of AT&T workers walked off the job Friday afternoon, after their union accused the company of not meeting a deadline to provide a fair contract.

At two store locations in Harrison County, AT&T Mobility employees left work at 3 p.m. and stood outside on the picket line.

"I just want to see them treat us fairly," said Cheyenne Moore, who stood outside the store in Clarksburg. She held a sign bearing the union's name that read 'Communications Workers of America On Strike.'

"We're the ones that make them the money," Moore insisted, citing the disparity in pay between employees and executives.

On the first day of a planned three-day work stoppage, employees voiced their grievances over wage benefits, healthcare, and outsourcing of jobs.

Union members, who have been without a contract since February, fear the company's practice to outsource jobs overseas will hurt workers back home.

In a statement provided to 5 News Friday, Josh Gelinas AT&T Director, Communications released the following statement Friday:

"A strike is in no one’s best interest, and it’s baffling as to why union leadership would call one when we’re offering terms in which our employees in these contracts – some of whom average from $115,000 to $148,000 in total compensation – will be better off financially.

We’re prepared, and we will continue working hard to serve our customers. This involves less than 14 percent of our employees.

What’s most important is we’re all family, whether you’re a union member or not. Like any family we have our disagreements but we’ll sort them out. We’ve reached 29 fair agreements since 2015 covering over 128,000 of our employees, and we’re confident we can do the same here."