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AT&T workers win 15% pay rise agreement

Deal Handshake

Following six months of negotiations between management and a union representing workers at US operator AT&T, a ‘tentative’ contract agreement that raises base wages and more has been reached.

Communications Workers of America is a broad church of a union, claiming to represent workers in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields. Today it announced that an agreement had been reached with AT&T following six months of negations for a proposed new four-year contract, which raises base wages for 13,000 retail workers, customer service representatives, and technicians across the country by nearly 15%, and includes adjustments for inflation.

On top of this the agreement limits mandatory overtime to eight hours a week and stipulates ‘time and a half’ will be paid for it, ‘curtails’ the outsourcing of jobs to third-parties, adds MLK Day as a recognized holiday, limits the use of web cameras, and adds two weeks of paid parental leave and new health care options.

“These workers provided essential services during the pandemic, putting themselves at risk to enable us to stay connected to one another,” said Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton. “They stayed united during contract negotiations and won an agreement that recognizes the importance of the work they do and shows what working people can achieve when they join together and demand respect.”

Lucia Coleho, an AT&T Mobility Retail Sales Consultant added: “Companies are scrambling to raise wages and provide incentives in this tight job market, but we all know that when economic conditions change, wages and benefits can disappear. With our union and this contract, we have the security of knowing that our wages will continue to grow over the next four years. We have the ability to address issues like shifting our work to authorized retailers that directly impact us. We hope this contract will inspire even more workers to organize unions and raise standards for everyone.”

We’re told details of the proposed contract are being provided to local leadership, and a vote will be held as to whether or not they go with it.

Across the pond, as they used to say, BT workers may be looking on with interest. They reportedly gave CEO Philip Jansen a piece of their mind on a recent ‘town hall’ internal call as they were told the company can’t afford to give them a pay rise because of soaring costs and low growth. The CEO’s own recent hefty pay rise, which was reportedly 32% bringing his salary up to £3.5 million, loomed heavy in the conversation it would seem, and now apparently The Communication Workers Union is in its final stages of balloting BT employees on whether or not to strike.

 

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