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Wireline Workers Snub AT&T Contract Offer in Southwest

It’s back to the drawing board for AT&T and the labor union that represents about 20,000 of the carrier’s landline employees.

AT&T said on Wednesday that employees represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in the Southwest turned down a new, four-year labor agreement. The workers are in Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Wireline workers on both coasts hit the picket line for a couple of days last year to bring attention to their dispute with the company. Both AT&T and Verizon have asked for concessions from its wireline workers over the past couple of years, particularly in health-care premium contributions. The companies’ wireless operations have grown significantly as more customers sign up for mobile services; however, many are ditching landlines at the same time.

AT&T will continue to pursue a deal with the CWA in the Southwest region, Bloomberg reported. The company’s wireline employees in the Midwest and Southeast were among those to sign off on new, three-year deals last year.

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