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Workers Stay on Job as AT&T Contracts Expire and Negotiations Continue to Avert a Strike

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Laura ClawsonContracts for about 40,000 unionized AT&T landline workers represented by the Communications Workers of America expired over the weekend. Four divisions are governed by separate contracts; 9,000 AT&T Mobility workers ratified a new contract last week.

The landline workers had voted March 31 to authorize a strike if new contracts weren’t reached, but they have continued reporting to work under the terms of the now-expired contracts as negotiations continue:

“We’re committed to continuing to work together with the union to reach an agreement that will allow us to continue to provide and protect” jobs, Marty Richter, a spokesman for AT&T, said in an e-mail after 5 p.m. [Sunday.]

On a call late last week with members:

[CWA Vice President Seth] Rosen summed up the goals of all four negotiations: “We have a very clear common goal that when it is all added up — wages, benefits, the complete package — that every single member, from the lowest paid to the highest, will be better off at the end of the contract than he or she was at the beginning.”

As is usual in negotiations these days, health care costs are at issue, as well as scheduling and job security questions.

This blog originally appeared in Daily Kos Labor on April 9, 2012. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos. She has a PhD in sociology from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth College. From 2008 to 2011, she was senior writer at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

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