AT&T Mobility, CWA Reach New Agreement as Internet Workers Threaten Strike

AT&T Mobility and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have a new agreement in place that covers health care and other benefits for more than 40,000 employees.

Marty RichterHowever, about 2,000 workers in AT&T’s internet business voted to authorize a strike — although none has been called and negotiations continue. The CWA said the workers are “determined to fight back against AT&T’s corporate greed and to stand strong for a fair contract.”

“A strike vote is not an unexpected step in negotiations of this sort and is routinely a part of the process,” said Marty Richter, AT&T spokesman. “We remain confident that an agreement will be reached. While an agreement wasn’t reached (with) the CWA on the National Internet Contract (NIC) by expiration on July 23, the two sides agreed to an indefinite contract extension and negotiations are continuing.”

Mobility workers voted down an agreement last month, and continued negotiations resulted in the tentative proposal that the union is presenting to its membership for a ratification vote.

Wages, pension and work rules for union-represented mobility employees are negotiated under separate contracts.{ad}

AT&T said that, out of respect for union membership, it will not comment on details of the tentative agreement until it has been presented by CWA leadership to the members.

Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 vice president, said CWA “accomplished our main goal, which was to put health-care benefits bargaining back in the regional bargaining agreement process and to make health care affordable for all mobility workers.”

CWA said the new proposed agreement includes: reduced premium costs for 20,000 employees hired after 2014; employees with dependent children and no covered spouse will pay lower rates under a new four-tier contribution structure; employees in Puerto Rico will be able to take advantage of HMO plans with much lower contribution rates; and a new “Option 2″ plan will be introduced with lower premium costs.

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