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Mark Donahue Mark Donahue is an associate editor for Telephony magazine. Previously, he worked in The Associated Press’ Chicago bureau, as well as two trade publications. He graduated from...more

Archive for July 15th, 2009

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.


###


Candice Johnson

CWA Communications Director

202-434-1347 (direct)

202-415-6566 (cell)

cjohnson@cwa-union.org

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IntelePeer Expands Next-Generation Voice Network With Sonus Networks

Sonus Networks, Inc. (SONS), providing network transformation through IP communications technology, today announced that IntelePeer, Inc., a leader in hosted on-demand rich media and IP communications, has expanded its Sonus based network to accommodate the growth of IP voice traffic. The expansion provides a significant increase in IP capacity across IntelePeer’s network nodes, doubling the number of sessions available for IP traffic. IntelePeer selected a Sonus based network to support its fully managed, hosted, on-demand voice peering infrastructure in 2006 and since then has seen IP traffic entering its network more than double.


IntelePeer’s continued growth is in large part due to their ability to be flexible and respond to market needs for high quality, cost effective communication services. To support their growth, IntelePeer has chosen the Sonus Network Border Switch as a standalone session border control (SBC) solution, for secure IP-peering, session control and media management. This will allow IntelePeer to offer additional services including media transcoding that extend the reach of its robust and scalable Voice Peering Network to both newer IP and legacy TDM connectivity.


“Today, IP voice traffic entering our network represents about 60% of all traffic and we expect an upward trend in IP-based traffic to continue for the foreseeable future as additional networks join our peering grid infrastructure,” said Phillip Bronsdon, senior vice president engineering and operations at IntelePeer. “The Sonus platform has proven to be robust, secure and scalable, and the support provided by the Sonus professional services team has enabled us to quickly respond to changing market needs and grow our business to offer new voice and IP services to our carrier and enterprise customers.”


“Like many service providers, IntelePeer needs to manage the changing mix of TDM and IP traffic seamlessly, efficiently and cost effectively within the same network,” said Shailin Sehgal, vice president, product management and marketing at Sonus Networks. “The Sonus solution is flexible and can be integrated with the media gateway function or used independently. In today’s cost conscious environment we believe that this approach provides a more cost effective way to transform carrier networks to all IP.”


The IntelePeer network began carrying live traffic on the Sonus platform in late 2006. It has deployed the full suite of Sonus solutions, including the GSX9000(TM) Media Gateway, the PSX(TM) Call Routing Server, the SGX(TM) Signaling Gateway, the Sonus Insight(TM) Management System and the Sonus Network Border Switch (NBS). It is now routing all traffic using the Sonus platform in conjunction with its SuperRegistry(TM) and Voice Peering Network services.


About IntelePeer


IntelePeer, www.IntelePeer.com, a leader in hosted on-demand rich media communications, enables carriers, businesses and software vendors to easily deliver voice and multimedia capabilities to any phone or network-connected device — without incurring up-front capital costs. Through our innovative, communications-as-a-service (CaaS) platform, IntelePeer AppworX(TM), our SuperRegistry(TM) and our extensive Voice Peering Network, we provide our customers with the platform to offer high-quality interactive voice, video, SMS, data and other rich-media services while providing significant cost savings for their telecommunication expenditures. Through intuitive APIs, Web Services, and brandable widgets and applets, IntelePeer removes the complexity of telecom and opens network functions to mainstream developers who are creating voice-Web “mashups” and communications-enabled business processes embedded into enterprise, webcasting, social networking, entertainment and e-commerce applications. Business professionals who use customer relationship management (CRM) software and common desktop applications such as calendaring and contact management also rely on us for instant access to bridge-to-services, voice blast, video blast, text-to-speech, conferencing and other features that enable communications-enhanced business processes that drive efficiency and deliver cost savings. Based in San Mateo, Calif., we operate our own carrier-grade network carrying more than 7 billion minutes, with worldwide coverage delivered through an IP and TDM peering grid with over 50 leading service provider peering partners. IntelePeer is privately held and is backed by venture capital firms VantagePoint Venture Partners, Kennet Venture Partners, NorthCap Partners and EDF Ventures.


About Sonus Networks


Sonus Networks Inc., providing network transformation through IP communications technology, is leading the evolution of communications networks to support the multi-device demands of today’s digital lifestyle. Sonus solutions and services enable fixed, mobile and cable operators to gain session awareness and deliver multi-media capabilities, essential to adding value and expanding their customer and subscriber base. Through standards based interoperable solutions and services, Sonus extends the investments made in traditional networks by enabling operators to seamlessly migrate to next generation technology and deliver the secure, reliable, scalable and cost-effective network needed to grow their business. For more information visit www.sonusnet.com.


This release may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events that involve risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future events or results. For a discussion of the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. Risk factors include among others: the unpredictability of our quarterly financial results; risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s previous restatement of its historical stock option granting practices and accounting including regulatory actions; actions that may be taken by significant shareholders; risks associated with our international expansion; and the impact the current global financial market conditions may have on the telecommunications industry. Any forward-looking statements represent Sonus’ views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing Sonus’ views as of any subsequent date. While Sonus may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point, Sonus specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, except as required by law.


Sonus is a registered trademark of Sonus Networks, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

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