AT&T contractors and technicians throughout Miami-Dade have been on strike since last Thursday because of unfair labor conditions and no fair
negotiation to improve the conditions.
The union that represents AT&T workers, Communications Workers of America, have been bargaining with the telecommunications company for better working
conditions and better pay for the wireline division, which includes employees that handle phone and internet for home and businesses but the company has made an offer that did not seem just to the contractors and technicians and the offer is non-negotiable.
The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge against AT&T.
The strikes are occuring in 9 states across the southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Locally, the protests have been happening at the Miami headquarters for AT&T located at 600 NW 79th Ave, according to Chris Waterson, union president of 31-21, a local sector of the Communications Workers of America.
Waterson said that the strike begins as early as 7 am and there has been tremendous support.
On Monday, 1,200 people showed up for the protests. There has also been support from local politicians; County Commissioners Daniella Levine-Cava and Eileen Higgins were present at the protests. Other unions are also in solidarity with the AT&T employees: the United Teachers of Dade, the local teachers union, and Teamsters, a labor union.
For Johnny Motisi, union president of sector 31-22 representing the Hialeah area, the protests are not about wages but how employees are treated.
"We're not fighting for wages." Motisi said. "The disrespect, the mistreatment for the men and women that serve the company has been the biggest bane of existence for the employees."
The corporation has highly discouraged younger employees, employees that have worked in the wireline division for 6 years or less, to not get involved in the union and disrespected the union.
That is something that Motisi and others could not stand for and began going on stike.
"The revolution, as I'm gonna call it, started in Miami. The spark started in Miami and sent them to hell for messing with our coworkers," said Motisi.
There has been no communication from the Miami representatives of AT&T about the progress of the negotiations since the strike began so the strike will continue forward until something occurs, according to Waterson.