AT&T Southwest, CWA go back to wireline workers with new contract agreement

AT&T Southwest (NYSE: T) has reached a new tentative contract agreement with the Communications Workers of America District 6 affecting its wireline workers, days after negotiations resumed in the wake of a previous tentative offer being rejected by District 6 membership.

The new four-year contract includes annual pay increases ranging from 2.25 percent in the first year to 3 percent in the fourth year. The new deal would not take effect until the existing deal ends on April 6, so the telco and the union are ahead of the game on this one.

However, union members still need to vote on the tentative agreement, which is no slam dunk, considering District 6 members last month rejected an earlier agreement that the telco and union negotiators had reached in December.

The four-year agreement covers about 20,000 wireline employees in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Those employees have added incentive to approve the new offer before or by Feb. 27. If that happens, eligible employees each will receive a $1,000 bonus.

If approved, the new contract would continue AT&T's progress forging new contracts with its unionized wireline workers. Over the last several month, the telco has locked in similar agreements with its Midwest and Southeast area wireline employees, deals that collectively affected more than 40,000 employees.

In addition to the yearly wage increases, the latest offer also includes a 1 percent pension band increase annually for most employees, as well as increases in employee contributions to the company healthcare plan.

For more:
- see this press release

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