No apparent contract movement from AT&T, union

Most media reports from this weekend show no discernible movement toward a new contract agreement between AT&T and the Communications Workers of America union. A strike has been authorized, but the CWA appears no closer to calling one, an action that it took about five years ago when the two sides failed to reach a contract agreement. However, as has been frequently noted, the wireline unit whose workers are affected by the contract negotiations is not the engine of AT&T's success that it once was.

Gerson Lehrman Group, in analysis released last Friday, said that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, in comments published in The Wall Street Journal, reiterates the importance of mobility operations to AT&T's future, which implies that wireline and especially wireline-centric service bundles are less important.

Meanwhile, health care costs remain the central stumbling block toward an agreement. AT&T continues to note that it needs to bring employee-paid health care costs more in line with company-wide and national averages. The affected AT&T employees currently pay only about 8 percent of their health care costs annually, the company says.

For more:
- Here's the analysis from Gerson Lehrman Group
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on contract issues

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