Last week, the workers authorized a strike as their contract was set to expire on Feb. 21. The contract then was extended through Saturday to allow time to resolve remaining issues.
The CWA AT&T Southwest Mobility contract covers technicians, call center customer support workers and representatives at AT&T’s retail stores in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.
The tentative agreement provides for pay raises, affordable health care, and a guarantee that a share of AT&T Mobility customer calls will continue to be handled by CWA customer service representatives located in the Southwest, according to the union.
“I am proud of our CWA bargaining team for negotiating a strong contract that protects good, family-supporting jobs in the Southwest,” said Claude Cummings, CWA District 6 vice president. “CWA members at AT&T Southwest Mobility proved that they were willing to fight for their jobs, affordable health care and better wages by overwhelmingly voting to strike if necessary. That, along with their months of workplace mobilization activities, pushed the company to reach this agreement in a timely fashion.”
AT&T spokesman Jim Kimberly tells Channel Partners the carrier’s goal throughout these negotiations has been to “work cooperatively with the union to bargain a fair contract that will allow us to continue to provide solid middle-class jobs with competitive wages and benefits, while maintaining the flexibility the company needs to operate in an extremely competitive industry.”
“We believe this agreement achieves that goal,” he said.
Details of the proposed contract are being provided to local union leadership and a ratification vote will be held once the members have an opportunity to review the details of the agreement.
Including this agreement, AT&T has reached 24 labor agreements since the beginning of 2017, collectively covering covering more than 115,000 employees. Twenty-three have been ratified by union members.