CHAPEL HILL – If you’re having issues with your DirecTV or U-verse, you may be out of luck in getting them fixed.
That’s because two days after an estimated 20,000 AT&T workers hit the picket lines to protest work conditions, there appears to be no resolution in sight.
“It could go on indefinitely,” said Jeremy Cleaver, 49, a wire technician for the company.
He was among a throng of protesters hefting signs outside AT&T’s office on NC Highway 54 in Chapel Hill on Sunday.
“There’s no definite end date at this time.”
Yet workers are not angry – just frustrated, one striker told WRAL TechWire.
All around the Triangle and across the Southeast, workers took to the streets over the weekend, vowing not to return to work until the telecom giant agreed to negotiate better terms in a new contract.
The old agreement expired on Aug. 3. In the meantime, the Communications Workers of America has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
“They’re forcing us to work crazy amounts of hours, six days a week,” said Cleaver, who has been with the company for more than two years. “It’s definitely taking a toll.”
Wire technician AJ Jackson, 27, was also among them.
“It’s a 365-day establishment. We’re out here in the rain; we’re out here in the snow. The heat wave that just passed, we were out here. We don’t complain, but everybody has their breaking point,” he said. “They’re trying to add more work and cut wages. It’s for us to get some appreciation back and stand up for something.”
AT&T spokesperson Jim Kimberly released a statement Saturday afternoon saying a strike would be in no one’s interest.
“We’re baffled as to why union leadership would call one when we’re offering terms that would help our employees – some of whom average from $121,000 to $134,000 in total compensation – be even better off,” he said, according to media reports.