A lawsuit filed last month by three pension funds aimed at blocking a
proposal by AT&T Corp. to change its charter has been dropped after the
telephone giant agreed to improve union access to jobs following its proposed
In March, the Amalgamated Bank's LongView Collective Investment Fund and the
pension funds of the AFL-CIO and the Communications Workers of America filed
suit to block a proposal by AT&T to amend its corporate charter so that a
majority shareholder vote would be needed to authorize a major restructuring.
The company's current charter states that such moves require a two-thirds
AT&T said the CWA -- which represents about 33,000 AT&T workers --
has agreed to withdraw the suit. It is expected that the other two parties will
do the same.
AT&T had claimed that the charter change was needed to put the company
more in line with other major modern corporations. The unions claimed that
AT&T feared that it did not have sufficient votes under the current charter
to push through its restructuring plan, which would split the company into
consumer-services, broadband, wireless and business-services unit.
'This agreement will strengthen the traditionally good relationship between
AT&T and the CWA,' AT&T chairman and CEO C. Michael Armstrong in a
prepared statement. 'And we plan to continue to improve our labor/management
relationship in the future.'
Shareholders will vote on the charter change -- which only needs a majority
vote -- at AT&T's annual meeting May 23 in Cincinnati.