AT&T West, DirecTV West and CWA reach tentative labor agreement

Even with the best clients, be careful when you agree to their special contract clauses.

AT&T West and DirecTV workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 9 have reached a tentative agreement covering 17,000 workers in California and Nevada.

This pact marks the first time DirecTV employees have been covered by a union contract, according to the CWA. AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015.

The tentative four-year agreement provides for pay raises, improvements in job security and retirement benefits, continued affordable healthcare and other improvements for AT&T West and DIRECTV West workers in California and Nevada.

RELATED: AT&T CWA California, Nevada workers join wireless unit in three-day strike

“I’m proud of their solidarity and of the hard work of our bargaining teams that were determined to reach a fair contract,” said Tom Runnion, VP of CWA District 9, in a release.

CWA said that the details of the proposed contract are being provided to the locals’ leadership, and contract explanation meetings are being scheduled beginning next week. A date to vote on the contract is also being scheduled.

Marty Richter, a spokesman for AT&T, told FierceTelecom confirmed the tentative agreement, but could not provide any further information on what the new labor deal includes. 

“The agreement will be submitted to the union’s membership for ratification votes in coming days,” Richter said. “Out of respect for union membership, we’re not commenting on the details of the tentative agreement until it has been presented by CWA leadership to their members for a vote.”

To date, AT&T has now reached 30 fair labor agreements since 2015, covering about 145,000 of its union-represented employees.

In April, 20,000 of AT&T’s CWA-represented employees in the telco's Southwest Region approved an early agreement that includes a commitment to hire 3,000 people in the region, sourced from work that’s currently performed mostly offshore.

Later in May, AT&T announced that nearly 5,000 IBEW-represented employees approved another agreement that included a commitment to hire 1,000 people for IBEW-represented jobs, including opening a new call center in Chicago.

Getting to this point has been anything but easy.

In May, AT&T wireline workers in California, Connecticut and Nevada represented joined their fellow wireless workforce in a three-day strike.

During that three-day strike, four different union contracts and include wireless workers in 36 states and D.C.; wireline workers in California, Nevada and Connecticut; and DirecTV technicians in California and Nevada.

Earlier, AT&T wireline technicians and call center employees in California and Nevada returned to work after walking off the job in protest of the company’s actions.

During that on-day strike employees at AT&T call centers and offices throughout California and Nevada picketed at dozens of locations across the two states with major picket lines in Los Angeles, Reno, Fresno, Sacramento, Bakersfield, Carson City, Tustin, San Diego and San Francisco.

But AT&T is not completely out of the woods with union negotiations.

The service provider is still working out a new contract covering 21,000 wireless employees. AT&T Wireless workers voted in early February to authorize a strike if they could not come to terms on a new deal.