ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - An Athens man tells us he's being forced to take a 50-percent cut in pay. Jonathan Ramires is a cable television technician at Prince Telecom in Athens. He says all of the techs were told essentially the same thing this week. WHNT News 19 is taking action to look for answers for Ramires and the other employees.
Cable technician Jonathan Ramires told us the techs had gathered outside Prince Telecom in Athens Wednesday morning refusing to accept a cut in pay. We arrived a short time later and observed a number of employees outside the business. Ramires said the men had been called inside for one-on-one meetings.
He explained the method of how they were paid for each install or repair was being changed, which he says would cut his pay almost in half.
"I was told that this is what it is, this is what the company has provided us and if we don't like it we could leave it. And we have so many guys working here that need to feed their families and they can't take this stand. I'm willing to take this stand on behalf of everybody else and make what's right," Ramires said.
"You doing this interview, you understand that probably means your job, right," he was asked?
"If it means my job for better wages for others I'm willing to take that stand today and let people know so our voices can finally be heard," Ramires explained.
Brandon Murphy says he worked for the company for about 5 years, until he says he was laid off when he had to take time away to care for his sick child.
"And they'll schedule you for six days a week and you don't have a choice but to show up. So they call it mandatory and you're working 15 or 16 hours a day, you don't get no home life," Murphy said.
We did try to speak with someone from the company today but when our reporter walked up to the front door someone rushed over and locked it. A man in the parking lot who identified himself as Bill Valentino, said he was the company's vice president, he confirmed they were in fact having some employee issues today and then he asked us to leave the property saying he would notify us when the company had a statement to make. We've heard nothing more.
Prince Telecom is one of the cable television providers in the Athens area. They also have offices in Guntersville. The company did not return any of our calls today. We'll keep trying.