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AT&T announces tentative wireline union deal

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

AT&T announced details of its tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America who began contract re-negotiations in April.

The CWA represents 7,000 of AT&T’s legacy wireline workers, whose contracts expired in the spring. Today, AT&T announced it has tentatively arrived at a three-year agreement upon wages, pension band increases, and health care. CWA workers were threatening to strike if AT&T changed their health care benefits, which included an HMO with 100% of the premiums covered by AT&T.

The health care aspect, at least, remains largely unchanged. A statement from AT&T this afternoon said, “[CWA] health care benefits remain among the best in the nation, providing for fully funded preventive care and company-funded health reimbursement accounts that can be used toward any eligible health care expense.”

In the revised contract, CWA wages will increase 3% in the first and second years, and 2.75% in the third. Pension bands will increase 2% annually. In the third year, for both wage and pension band increases, there is an opportunity for a cost-of-living adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Roughly half of AT&T’s union contracts have been ratified, and negotiations are continuing in three major CWA districts.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2009

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