AT&T, IBEW reach deal covering Midwest wireline workers

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AT&T and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-3 have reached a tentative 5-year agreement, covering about 5,000 workers in the Midwest region.

Specifically, the 5-year agreement covers nearly 5,000 wireline employees primarily in Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

The IBEW-represented employees covered by the agreement are members of IBEW Local 21 in Illinois and Northwest Indiana, and other IBEW locals spread across the country.

IBEW System Council T-3 represents technicians, service representatives, clerical workers and other AT&T employees.

RELATED: AT&T faces criticism on CWA, IBEW contracts, network neglect claims in California, Nevada

Under the agreement, IBEW workers covered under this contract will be able to take advantage of a number of wage and retirement benefits. Employees will be eligible for a 13.3% wage increase over the life of the contract and a $1,000 signing bonus. Additionally, the contract includes provisions to increase pension benefits and a no-layoff agreement through March 1, 2018.

Being able to reach an agreement with another piece of its union workforce is important as AT&T pursues network expansions and further M&A opportunities.

To date, AT&T has reached 29 labor agreements since 2015, collectively covering more than 128,000 employees. In addition to this agreement, the service provider will hire 1,000 people into IBEW-represented jobs in the next 5 years, including a new call center in Chicago.

However, the service provider is still working out a contract with 17,000 wireline employees in California and Nevada represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. These employees have been working without a new contract since April.

In March, technicians and call center employees in California and Nevada returned to work after a 1-day strike in protest of the company’s actions and continue to negotiate a new contract.