More than 20,000 AT&T wireline workers in nine Southeastern states are back to work, after a four-day strike that began last weekend.
The The Communications Workers of America union said that the strike ended yesterday at 1 p.m., and that CWA and AT&T have reached a “handshake deal” on a new collective bargaining agreement.
AT&T sent contract negotiation representatives on Monday who could bargain with the union and had authority to make decisions.
The authority of the company representatives was a key factor in the strike, which began in part because CWA said that AT&T was not bargaining in good faith and filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company with the National Labor Relations Board.
The strikes included more than 20,000 technicians, customer service representatives and other workers who install, maintain and support AT&T’s wireline telecommunications network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
According to public statements from AT&T, the Southeast contract covers fewer than eight percent of AT&T’s employees.
The carrier recently ratified two contracts with CWA in other areas of the country: two Midwest Wireline agreements which cover 8,000 employees in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; and a second agreement covering about 3,000 wireline employees across the country, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company says it has reached 20 union agreements since 2017, covering more than 89,000 employees.
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders visited CWA picket lines over the weekend, and former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted his support of the striking workers.