Striking AT&T workers vocal about alleged unfair labor practices by management

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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (6/1/2018) - About 400 AT&T workers remained on strike Friday over what they consider to be unfair labor practices on the behalf of company management.

Friday was day two of the strike by AT&T workers, which appears to be spreading around the Upper Midwest. Already, 300 workers in Flint, Saginaw and Bay City walked off the job.

The strike may lead to longer waits for service calls and getting service questions answered for customers. Neither side appears ready to give in.

"Locals and work groups in Indiana and Kalamazoo and Cleveland and started walking off the job," said Ranier Delgado of CWA Local 4108.

He said the strike is purely over the management's attempt to circumvent the collective bargaining process.

"It has nothing to do with money," Delgado said. "It's merely, it has to do with their unfair labor practice they are doing by trying to bargain directly with membership."

Workers from CWA Local 4108 have been working without a new contract since April. The strike centers around an email that AT&T management sent to the employees about a tentative agreement for a new contract that it said it was fair and final.

The Communications Workers of America union said the company can't negotiate with the employees directly, that the negotiating has to stay with the union's bargaining team.

"They are bargaining in bad faith," Delgado said. "They are going around our bargaining team and we are done with it."

A company spokesman said AT&T management has the right to inform employees of the final offer.

It's not clear if customers of the communications company are feeling the effects of the strike.

"They are probably going to be pushed out a few days on service calls or anything like that," said Joel Grezeszak of CWA Local 4108.

He said none of the striking workers are being paid. They are eager to get back to work.

"As soon as the members are satisfied, we will go back to work. And to satisfy them, they need to stop emailing them," Delgado said.

Neither side was sure when the strike would be over on Friday.