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SBC Strike Begins; Negotiators Resume Talks

SBC workers picket the company's St. Louis offices Friday.
(KWMU staff)
SBC workers picket the company's St. Louis offices Friday.

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – SBC Communications and leaders of a striking union have returned to the bargaining table to try to work out a new contract.

The Communications Workers of America today started a four-day strike in Missouri, Illinois, and the 11 other states SBC serves.

Despite an offer of raises in the five-year contract, union members including phone technician Sam Wright say the proposal falls short in several major ways.

"They've given inadequate wage protection for us, job security, outsourcing of jobs," Wright said. "They refuse to give it to our union brothers and sisters. They're refusing to give us fair health care coverage."

The company says the contract is fair, and no union jobs have been lost to outsourcing.

The strike affects about 4,500 workers in the St. Louis area, and 100,000 nationwide.