Tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in wireline contract negotiations covering 8,900 employees

August 17, 2009

2 Min Read

DALLAS -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in core wireline contract negotiations covering approximately 8,900 employees.

The agreement, which will be submitted to the union’s membership for a ratification vote in coming days, is the third to be reached with a bargaining unit representing AT&T core wireline workers. AT&T and the Communications Workers of America announced on Aug. 7 ratification of a new contract in the Midwest Region (CWA District 4), and on Aug. 10 announced a tentative agreement in the West Region (CWA District 9). A total of about 50,000 employees in core wireline contracts now have ratified or tentative agreements.

The IBEW contracts expired on June 27 and employees have worked under the terms of the expired contracts while negotiations continued. Most of the IBEW employees covered under the contracts – about 8,650 in IBEW Local 21 – are in Illinois and northwestern Indiana; the rest are in a national contract and are scattered across the country.

Bill Blase, senior executive vice president-Human Resources, praised the negotiating teams for both the union and the company for their work in reaching a tentative agreement during tough economic times.

“We’re pleased to have a third agreement in hand, and we’re continuing to work towards resolving contract talks in remaining regions,” Blase said.

The agreement provides for both wage and pension band increases in all three years for the vast majority of employees. Wages will increase 3 percent in the first and second years and 2.75 percent in the third year. Pension bands will increase 2 percent in every year of the agreement. 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.

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. The agreement also provides for continued good health insurance coverage with some cost sharing.

Most of the financial impact from this contract will be reflected in AT&T’s results beginning in 2010.

Negotiations are continuing in other CWA regions where contracts expired on April 4, as they did in Midwest and West. They include East (CWA District 1), Southwest (CWA District 6) and Legacy T (CWA ComTech unit); along with Southeast (CWA District 3), where contracts expired Aug. 8.

A total of about 120,000 employees are covered under the various contracts.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)

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