AT&T, IBEW carve out tentative wireline union agreement

AT&T (NYSE: T) laid out the terms of a tentative agreement with 6,500 Illinois and northwestern Indiana workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-3 in wireline contract negotiations.

Although the current contract does not expire until June 22, AT&T and the IBEW decided last month to begin negotiating the terms of a new contract early.

IBEW employees covered under the proposed four-year agreement are members of IBEW Local 21 in Illinois and northwestern Indiana, and in other locals spread throughout the United States.

AT&T said that if the IBEW union members vote to ratify a new agreement by May 7, they will provide a $1,000 ratification bonus to every eligible employee. The contract will then go into effect on June 23, 2013 and expire on June 24, 2017.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, AT&T will provide employee raises each year of the contract: 2.25 percent in the first year, 2.5 percent the second year, 2.75 percent the third year and 3 percent the fourth year. It also includes a 1 percent pension band increase during each year of the contract for a majority of the IBEW employees.

Similar to other telcos' union negotiations, AT&T has made progress with both IBEW and Communications Workers of America (CWA) members in some areas while facing setbacks in others.

Over the past year, AT&T ratified union agreements with CWA in three regions: the Midwest, Southeast, and the Southwest.

However, last week, the telco faced a setback when it could not come to terms on a three-year contract with 17,000 workers in California and Nevada represented by CWA District 9.

AT&T is not the only service provider facing challenges on the union negotiation front. Fellow RBOC Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is being forced to go back to the negotiating table with CWA union members at Verizon Southwest, who recently voted down a tentative agreement.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
AT&T West, CWA workers lock horns on 3-year contract
AT&T, CWA District 9 reach tentative agreement
CWA District 6 members last month rejected a tentative agreement
AT&T reached an agreement with CWA Midwest workers last summer