AT&T, CWA District 9 reach tentative agreement

AT&T (NYSE: T) on Wednesday took a step toward closing another chapter in its ongoing union contract negotiations by striking a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 9 for wireline workers in the telco's West region.

Covering over 17,000 wireline employees located in California and Nevada, the three-year agreement will be submitted to the CWA's membership for a ratification vote in the next few days.

The CWA and AT&T reached the tentative agreement following negotiations, including mediation conducted under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).

AT&T said it would not comment on the details of the agreement until the contract has been presented to the CWA members.

Negotiations between AT&T and the union members in the West region have been tense. In June, thousands of the telco's employees located in California and Nevada walked off the job in a one-day protest.

At that time, the CWA said the walkout was done to protest what it said were unreasonable contract demands including "massive healthcare cost shifting to workers and their families" and changes to retirement benefits.

AT&T has made continued progress in ratifying wireline union contracts in various regions. Last year, the telco ratified new contracts with AT&T Midwest, AT&T Legacy and AT&T Southeast in August and December. The Midwest and Southeast contracts collectively cover about 40,000 AT&T wireline workers.

In related wireline union news, the Executive Board of the CWA has authorized the setting of a strike date for 13,000 CWA members at CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL). Those members work in the 13 legacy Qwest Communications regions CenturyLink serves. Although the CWA contract with CenturyLink expired in October, it has been extended while bargaining continues.

For more:
- see the release

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CWA District 6 members last month rejected a tentative agreement
AT&T reached an agreement with CWA Midwest workers last summer
AT&T wireline union workers protest in California, Nevada