AT&T, IBEW begin labor contract negotiations

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AT&T (NYSE: T) and one of its main unions--the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)--has headed to the negotiating table to hammer out a new labor contract.

Last Thursday, the two sides met to discuss a contract that will cover 7,000 IBEW members in Illinois, Indiana, New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and the Northwest.

While AT&T and the IBEW discussed various topics, some of the union's some of the union's main concerns centered on the telco's proposed treatment of time not worked and cutting benefits.   

The new contract under discussion will replace an existing replace an agreement that expires at 11:59 p.m. June 23.

This collective bargaining agreement includes union members across the United States who are part of the National IBEW Telephone System Council T-3, which coordinates bargaining activities on behalf of Local Unions 21, 58, 134, 494, 827, 1269, 1944, 2222, 2324 and 2325.

In April, AT&T was able to avoid a strike with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. Both sides are continuing to negotiate a new contract.

At that time CWA-affiliated workers in the Northeast, West and Midwest last week had authorized their leadership to strike if talks failed to reach an agreement, but now will continue to work under the existing contract while the two sides negotiate.

As labor contracts come up at the major telcos' wireline divisions, the threat of union strikes continues to rise. 

Last August, 45,000 of Verizon's union wireline workers went on strike after the two sides failed to reach an agreement over various concessions relating to sick time, health care and pensions. The two sides are still working out a contract.

For more:
- see this release

Special Report: Verizon strike: Full coverage

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