SACRAMENTO, CA -- CWA members at AT&T West voted to reject their tentative agreement by a wide margin and to support a strike if necessary. But after weekend meetings CWA elected local leaders authorized Vice President Weitkamp and the bargaining committee to return to negotiations beginning Monday.
“Clearly, our members are strong in their conviction. This contract needs to be improved in real ways to be acceptable to our members,” said Jim Weitkamp, vice president and the elected leader of CWA District 9. “We’ll fight hard to get the improvements we need at the bargaining table, but if we can’t there will be a strike.”
District 9 covers about 18,000 CWA members at AT&T operations in California and Nevada. These employees maintain and repair the fiber and copper networks over which regular telephone and cellular telephone signal travels; repair and install residential and business telephone systems; install AT&T’s video and internet products and provide customer service and sales to AT&T customers.
The previous AT&T West contract expired last April.
Members have been advised to report to work at their normal times and to support their bargaining team.
AT&T is the 12th largest company in America. Last year, AT&T reported profits of $39 billion on $126 billion in revenue, an amount the annual report deemed “our best total ever.”
"Our members have clearly stated that they expect more from the nation's most profitable telecommunications company," said Weitkamp. "What happens next will be determined in large part by the company's response. We will approach this week’s negotiations confident that improvements can be made but also confident that our members will totally support strike action if needed."