The contract covers more than 20,000 wireline employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands. Last month, the workers voted to authorize a strike if necessary.
The CWA said it will continue negotiations with AT&T to reach a “fair and just contract that includes quality healthcare coverage, higher wages, job security and investment in local communities.”
“Extending the current contract in the Southeast allows CWA members to work without interruption and with their bargained-for protections in place while negotiations continue,” said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 vice president. “AT&T received over $21 billion in tax cuts and then proceeded to cut jobs and upend workers’ lives. We remain focused on reaching an agreement with AT&T that raises wages, creates jobs and puts a priority on using our experienced workforce to build next-generation fiber networks to serve rural and urban communities.”
AT&T spokesman Marty Richter tells Channel Partners this contract extension and ongoing negotiation reflects the “spirit of the longstanding relationship between the company and the union.”
“We’re committed to reaching a fair contract that will allow us to continue to provide solid union-represented careers with competitive wages and benefits,” he said. “We have successfully reached 20 fair labor agreements since the beginning of 2017, collectively covering about 89,000 employees, and we look forward to doing the same here.”
Update: CWA members in the Midwest and at AT&T’s national Legacy T unit have ratified four-year agreements covering 14,000 workers. The new agreements provide wage increases of 10.5% over the life of the contracts, cap health care costs and preserve jobs.