AT&T, IBEW agree on 1-year contract extension, CWA negotiations ongoing

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AT&T (NYSE: T) has solved at least a portion of its ongoing labor negotiations problem by agreeing to a one-year labor contract extension for about 7,000 workers. The one-year extension—until June 22, 2013—covers the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and changed nothing in the current contract, AT&T said in a story reported by Reuters.

Terms of the contract extension were hammered out in late May when union members were offered a 1 percent base raise and employees who will make less than $50,000 following the salary increase were offered a lump-sum payment of $500, while those who will make more than $50,000 after the salary increase will receive $300.

Of course on the empty-glass side of this picture, the carrier is still negotiating with about 40,000 Communications Workers of America employees whose contract expired April 7 and has started talking with another 22,000 whose contract expires Aug. 4. All tallied up, AT&T has about 252,330 people in its workforce.

Rancorous labor negotiations are nothing new in the telco space. AT&T's chief rival, Verizon (NYSE: VZ), started having problems of its own last August when it dealt with a two-week strike at the expiration of contracts for 45,000 workers. Tellingly—at least if AT&T is looking into any crystal balls—those negotiations continue to this date.

The problem faced by both carriers and their employees is that the home telephone business is in steady decline, cutting into revenues that would be used to pay for union health and retirement benefits.

For more:
- Reuters has this story

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