The Communications Workers of America and AT&T are avoiding a strike but negotiations continue. The contract between AT&T and the CWA expired at midnight on April 4, 2009. Negotiations are taking place in Austin Texas. They will affect 110,000 AT&T employees who work for the land lines portion of the company. 300 of those employees are based in Topeka. Many are union members of CWA Local 6401.
You can hear what the spokesperson for AT&T has to say about the negotiations by clicking on the video link at the top of this story.
Employees have been instructed to show up to work as scheduled.
CWA/AT&T Bargaining Report #32
April 5, 2009
While the Contract has expired, we continue to bargain and have the right to strike when we deem it necessary. We are still far apart on many issues.
We will need to increase our mobilization activities. A call will be scheduled to discuss these job actions. Wages, benefits and working conditions remain in effect.
You should report to work if scheduled.
Please continue to support your Bargaining Committee.
The following releases appear on the CWA website.
Contract Expires at AT&T Southwest
April 5, 2009
Contact: Judy Graves, CWA District 6,
For Now, Those CWA Members Will Report to Work
Austin, Texas – The contract covering 30,200 workers represented by the Communications Workers of America at AT&T Southwest expired at midnight CDT, with many important issues – including employment security and health care -- not resolved. The contract will not be extended.
CWA members at AT&T Southwest will continue to report to work for now, although that can change at any time. Workers are keeping their option to strike open. For workers, the terms of the contract will remain in effect, meaning that wages, working conditions and benefits like health care will continue unchanged, with the exception of arbitration for grievances.
CWA has made it clear to AT&T that it is ready to bargain at any time to resolve the issues and negotiate quality contracts. Unfortunately, AT&T has shown little willingness to move forward and reach settlements. There has been little progress in the areas of health care, retirement security and employment security, among others.
“The CWA bargaining teams are very frustrated by AT&T’s slow pace in negotiations. Instead of working toward quality settlements that will benefit workers and the company, AT&T negotiators chose to drag out negotiations without a plan for settlement,” said CWA Executive Vice President Annie Hill.
“AT&T is very successful and profitable, even in these bad economic times. That makes it all the more difficult to understand why AT&T is demanding that workers take on even more health care costs than they already pay. This company takes care of executives and investors. It needs to set the right priorities and maintain quality jobs and quality benefits for workers,” Hill said.
CWA members at AT&T operations voted by an 88 percent yes vote to authorize a strike if a fair contract isn't reached. CWA represents about 125,000 workers covered by these contracts:
AT&T East, Connecticut, 5,000 and 300 AT&T East Yellow Pages workers.
AT&T Southwest, in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, 30,200.
AT&T Legacy, covering 10,000 workers nationwide.
to visit the Communications Workers of America website.
Click to visit the AT & T Website.