AT&T, CWA reach 3-year labor agreement covering 12,000 Midwest workers

AT&T (NYSE: T) overcame another hurdle in its ongoing wireline union negotiation process as the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union have voted to ratify a three-year agreement covering 12,000 employees in the Midwest.

In May, the two sides reached a tentative agreement covering union employees that work for AT&T Midwest and AT&T Corp. The agreement was unanimously endorsed by the CWA bargaining committee that spent over nine weeks working with the company's bargaining team to reach a fair agreement.

AT&T's Midwest contract covers about 12,000 employees in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

It was a close vote with 51.6 percent of the CWA members voting Yes and 48.4 percent voting No, with 56.8 percent return. The vote count was conducted by 36 members from 13 different locals across the district.

In related news, CWA voted to ratify a three year with AT&T Corp. that covers about 4,500 employees spread across the country.

"Although it was a close vote, it shows the continued appreciation our members have for the work of our bargaining committee," said Linda Hinton, CWA District 4 vice president, in a statement. "In these tough times, our committee was able to get a contract that enhanced both our employment security and our standard of living."

This new agreement is retroactive to April 12, 2015 and the benefit changes do not take effect until Jan. 1, 2016. 

Meanwhile, AT&T and CWA began negotiations earlier this week for a new contract covering 27,000 employees in the telco's Southeast territory.

It has been a busy time for the telcos and their unions. AT&T's telco brother Verizon just began its negotiations with the CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on Monday. On first day of negotiations, Verizon proposed a new three-year contract covering 38,000 employees it says will offer wage increases during the period.

For more:
- see the AT&T release
- here's CWA's statement

Related articles:
AT&T, CWA begin negotiations for 27,000 Southeast employees
AT&T, CWA reach tentative wireline labor agreement
AT&T Midwest, CWA extend labor contract while negotiations continue

This article was updated on June 29 with additional information from AT&T about the CWA contract with AT&T Corp.