Contract Reached at AT&T
21,000 CWA workers win raises and job protections after 10-month contract fight
After 10 months of contentious negotiations, a contract has been reached between the United States only union wireless carrier, AT&T, and the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
The deal covers 21,000 of its wireless-support and retail workers across 36 states in AT&T's Mobility Orange unit. Back in May, UCOMM reported that these employees held a short weekend strike when negotiations between the company and the CWA stalled. According to the CWA, the new contract will include 10.1% raises over the four years of the contract, rollbacks on outsourcing, and a shift of $2,500 in pay from commissions to base pay for retail workers. Under the new agreement, AT&T retail workers will now be paid an average wage of $19.20 an hour. That is better than 74% of retail workers in the country.
For the first time at any wireless company in the country, workers have won guaranteed customer service work at U.S. call centers, representing an 80% increase in the share of total call volume over the current levels. AT&T wireless workers have also won first-time job security protections that require AT&T to find them a new job if their call center or retail store closes. Combined with better, more stable pay and reduced intrusive surveillance at work, the proposed agreement dramatically improves the quality of workers’ lives on the job.
“After joining together and going on strike, AT&T workers have won a historic contract that sets a bold precedent for workers in the telecom industry. The solidarity and persistence of our members pushed the company to agree to crucial protections like stronger job security for retail workers and greater fairness in evaluation and discipline procedures that put our members and their families on a path towards greater economic security,” said Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President of CWA District One. “Let this be a sign to all companies that put profits above workers: when we stand together, we win.”
The tentative contract will now be sent to the members for a vote, which will be held on January 12th.