The President of CWA Local 6401 said contract talks with AT&T were "not going well" and that the union could "strike in 5 minutes, or keep negotiating for weeks." Jason Burns, president of the CWA chapter in Topeka, Kan., said the union would exhaust all possible options before calling a strike, but that the company seems reluctant to move off of current proposals the union finds unacceptable.
There are 300 unionized AT&T employees in Topeka, but more than 110,000 nationwide currently debating a strike if negotiations turn sour. All indications at this time point toward a strike at some point, even while CWA employees are currently continuing to work without a contract. To date, there has been no indication from the CWA or AT&T that either is contemplating giving in to the other's demands.
An AT&T spokesman said bargaining continues over correct levels for retiree benefits, pensions, and wages. Burns said the impasse centers on disagreements over retiree benefits, health care, and job security.
- see the Topeka Capital-Journal article here
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