AT&T Workers In Southwest OK Union Contract

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Members of the Communications Workers of America in AT&T's southwest region voted to ratify a four-year agreement with the company covering 26,000 workers, leaving about one-third of the telco's union employees without a contract.

The southwest region agreement, announced Tuesday, covers CWA members in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. The contract ended on April 4 and employees had worked under the terms of the expired contract while negotiations continued

Terms of the agreement include a compounded 12% wage increase over the contract term, with a cost-of-living adjustment in the final year, as well as a 2% increase in the pension bands in each contract year, also with a final year cost-of-living adjustment, according to the CWA.

About 66% of the 120,000 employees covered under AT&T's core wireline contracts now have ratified agreements. The telco and the CWA are continuing to negotiate contracts covering 40,000 workers in AT&T's nine-state southeast region, where the contract expired Aug. 8, and Connecticut, where the contract expired on April 4.

In a statement, AT&T said the agreements reached to date "demonstrate that even in tough economic times and in the midst of major changes in the marketplace and the telecommunications industry, the company and unions can work together to maintain good union jobs with wages and benefits that are among the best in the country."