COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA and AT&T ANNOUNCE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT IN MIDWEST CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA and AT&T ANNOUNCE
TENTATIVE AGREEMENT IN MIDWEST CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C., and DALLAS, July 15, 2009 – The Communications Workers of America and AT&T Inc. today announced that a tentative agreement has been reached in the Core Wireline contract negotiations covering approximately 18,500 employees in CWA District 4 (AT&T’s Midwest region).
The agreement, which will be submitted to the district’s membership for a ratification vote in coming days, was reached after nearly five months of negotiations. The contract expired on April 4 and employees have worked under the terms of the expired contract while negotiations continued.
CWA President Larry Cohen said the negotiations reflected the current tough economic times and that the current health care structure in the United States is unsustainable. “This tentative agreement maintains our members’ standard of living and safeguards quality health care benefits, which is critical to the well-being of all families. It’s important now to move forward in the remaining negotiations and resolve our outstanding issues. I’m pleased that AT&T will continue to work with us and others on comprehensive health care reform so that companies like AT&T that provide quality health care are no longer penalized in this country.”
AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson applauded the patience and professionalism of negotiating teams representing both sides. “We’re pleased to have reached a fair and balanced tentative agreement that keeps our core wireline wages and benefits among the best in the nation, while helping to control costs and preserving our ability to compete,” Stephenson said. “These were tough negotiations in difficult economic times and amidst major changes in our wireline business. I am grateful to the representatives of the CWA and AT&T who have worked so hard to achieve this goal.”
The three-year proposed agreement includes pay and pension band increases in each year of the agreement, as well as provisions addressing cost of living adjustments. Health care benefits remain among the best in the nation; the health care plan provides for fully funded preventive care and company-funded health reimbursement accounts that can be used toward any eligible health care expense. The agreement includes new transfer opportunities and other employment security gains that strengthen AT&T’s quality workforce. The agreement also creates broader earnings and job opportunities for some sales titles and premises technicians, who install AT&T services at customers’ homes.
CWA District 4 Vice President Seth Rosen said, “During these very tough times in the Midwest, middle-class workers can use some good news. I am pleased to have reached an agreement that achieves our key goals.”
Details of the tentative agreement are reported on the CWA District 4 bargaining Web site (http://district4.cwa-union.org/bargaining) and the AT&T bargaining Web site (www.att.com/corebargaining).
Negotiations are continuing in other regions where contracts expired on April 4, as they did in Midwest (CWA District 4). They include East (CWA District 1), West (CWA District 9), Southwest (District 6) and Legacy T (CWA ComTech unit). Negotiations are also continuing for Core Wireline contracts with the IBEW for employees mostly in Illinois in northwestern Indiana; those contracts expired June 27. The Core Wireline contract in the Southeast region (CWA District 3) expires on Aug. 8 and negotiations begin in that region July 20.
A total of about 120,000 employees are covered under the various contracts.
CWA Communications Director