RALEIGH – AT&T’s striking employees across the southeast are to return to work Wednesday afternoon, their union declared this morning.

The strike began on Saturday and involved some 20,000 workers.

The union did not say that a settlement over issues triggering the walkout had been reached.

In a statement, the Communications Workers of America declared:

“CWA has notified AT&T management that we are ending the unfair labor practice strike and have agreed to return to work.

“The strike is over, effective immediately.

“Bargaining unit employees at AT&T Southeast, Utility Operations, and AT&T Billing are expected to return to work at 1:00 P.M. ET/12:00 P.M CT today, Wednesday August 28.

“Even if in the middle of their tour, employees should return to work at 1:00 P.M. ET/12:00 P.M. CT today.”

‘Breaking point:’ 20,000 AT&T workers vow to stay home until conditions improve

The CWA said earlier that the two sides met on Monday to discuss “various bargaining proposals.”

The union has already filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. It described the discussion as “intense,” but also offered a glimmer of hope.

“There is a possibility that negotiations could move forward,” it said in a statement. “It is our desire to reach an agreement and attain the contract that our members deserve.”

AT&T spokesperson Marty Richter told WRAL TechWire today the company is ready to negotiate a new, improved contract. But it strongly disagrees with the union’s claims of unfair labor practices.

“Our bargaining team is negotiating this contract with CWA leaders in the same way we have successfully done with dozens of other CWA contracts over the years.

He added: “The company has reached, and union members have voted to ratify, 20 fair agreements since 2017 covering more than 89,000 employees. That includes five similar agreements reached in late June and early July and ratified by CWA members. We look forward to doing the same here.”

Unhappy AT&T workers in Raleigh, Southeast strike; more than 20,000 walk off job overall