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AT&T Labor Union Contract Expires Saturday; Fate Of Workers Up In Air

DETROIT (WWJ) – This could be a long weekend for communications giant AT&T and its workers — the contract for 40,000 Communications Workers of America union members expires just before midnight on Saturday. Approximately 5,000 workers in Michigan are covered under the contract.

CWA Detroit Spokesman David Skotarczyk discussed the workers’ main issue.

“We’re trying to stop layoffs. We have people working mandatory overtime now while AT&T continues to lay off people. We’re trying to serve our customers the best we can, that’s our goal,” said Skotarczyk.

The union said the company is proposing changes to health care and pension benefits.

“We’re trying to get AT&T to be a good corporate citizen and to do its share to keep good, middle-class jobs in our communities, in our state and in our country,” said Skotarczyk, who added that the company is “over using” its current workers.

“We want AT&T to step up to the plate, limit the overtime and hire more people so our customers can be served better. That’s our main issue, is a fair and ethical contract that we can say “Look, it’s fair to the customer, fair to the stockholder, fair to the company,'” said Skotarczyk.

Union members voted last weekend to authorize a strike, if the union decides to call one.  If there is a strike, AT&T said it  has been training managers to fill and take over.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.

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