AT&T Alascom workers in Teamsters Local 959 strike again
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - AT&T Alascom workers from the Teamsters Union Local 959 have voted to strike once again after failed attempts to bargain a new contract with AT&T’s out-of-state corporate negotiators.
This is the second vote to strike in two months.
The local 959 has filed several unfair labor practice charges against AT&T for what they describe as violations of federal labor law during the bargaining efforts. Some of those charges include changes to working conditions, “bad-faith bargaining” and refusing to supply requested information needed for negotiations.
In a press release issued by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a recent survey has shown 70% of AT&T Alascom workers agree or strongly agree that AT&T is failing to invest necessary resources in its communications systems in Alaska.
Currently, the Alascom network serves numerous radio system facilities, transmitter and repeater sites, the Anchorage-Prudhoe Bay fiber optic cable, services to Alyeska Pipeline, and national security and defense systems in all Alaska’s major cities including Fairbanks.
Teamster’s General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement “Our Alascom members risk their lives in the worst Alaskan weather to repair equipment and keep phone and internet services running. They represent the finest of the Teamsters – taking on yet another corporate bully to protect their families and demand the respect they deserve,” said O’Brien.
Kurt Foley, a 16-year technician with the Teamsters also stated AT&T Corporate is demanding a monthly increase for family healthcare. “That’s just not sustainable and it’s ridiculous, especially after AT&T paid its CEO $25 million last year and gave him an 18% raise. This strike is a wake-up call to AT&T, which continues to violate our rights and put critical telecom services at risk. Alaska towns and national security systems depend on these services, as do our own families.”
Gary Dixon, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 959 stated AT&T’s corporate executives are treating Alaska’s communities and its workers like “personal piggybanks.” Dixon went on to say, “In Alaska, AT&T has over $2 billion in federal contracts alone. This company seems dead set on pulling every last penny out of the state, even if it means exploiting its own workers and sticking our communities with outdated, inadequate infrastructure.”
AT&T Assistant Vice President Jim Greer wrote in a statement, “We’re proud to be one of the largest employers of union-represented employees in America. While not surprising, we are disappointed the local Teamsters union voted to authorize a strike. Whether they strike or not, we will continue bargaining in good faith toward a mutually beneficial agreement.”
Copyright 2022 KTVF. All rights reserved.