SBC Workers Begin 4-day Strike

The 100,000 unionized employees of the SBC telephone company began a 4-day walkout today after being unable to negotiate a new contract to replace the old, which expired on April 3:

“DETROIT — Union workers at Michigan’s largest telephone company began striking at midnight, but SBC Communications officials said most customers’ service would not be affected. …

SBC said it planned to use a team of 40,000 nonunion managers, retirees and temporary workers who have been trained to answer phones and perform repairs, and to resolve any problems in the network through Monday night. But union officials and members said the company is likely to have a tough time keeping up with the work normally done by the 100,000 striking employees in 13 states, including about 9,500 in Michigan.

“Then at one minute after midnight on Tuesday we’ll be back out there doing those repairs,” said Dave Skotarczyk, president of CWA Local 4050 in Detroit. “We’re hoping to minimize the impact to customers but get the company to come back to the table and start negotiating with us.”

The union’s previous contract expired April 3 but was extended through this week. A federal mediator was unable to help the two sides reach an agreement. …

The union, which says it has lost 29,000 jobs at SBC in the past three years, points to the company’s $8.4 billion profit last year as evidence that their demands can be met. … “

> DetNews: “SBC workers walk off job”
> Union Press Release
> SBC Comment on the strike

Author: Rob


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