AT&T said it has reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in contract negotiations covering roughly 21,000 wireless workers across 36 states.
The proposed four-year contract will be presented to members for ratification and voted on by January 12, potentially ending a nearly year-long impasse. The CWA said the agreement provides 10.1 percent in raises over the length of the contract, and shifts $2,500 from commission to base pay for retail workers.
Retail workers will be paid an average of $19.20 per hour, which is about 74 percent more than the national average for retail workers, the union said.
Wireless worker also won job security protections that require AT&T to find them a new job if their call center or retail store closes, according to CWA.
“AT&T wireless workers’ victory is a watershed moment, for themselves and their families, and for working people across the telecom sector who are fighting to keep good jobs in our communities,” Chris Shelton, president of the CWA, said in a statement. “Call center representatives, retail workers and techs from small towns and big cities joined together and refused to back down until they made good jobs at AT&T a reality. This contract affirms the power of working people everywhere to join together and establish a new standard for America’s retail and telecom jobs.”
In early November, AT&T sent union employees what it called a “final offer” to resolve negotiations.
The CWA for its part, had said that AT&T generates nearly $1 billion per month in profits, but is “failing to invest in its core business and infrastructure” as it outsources jobs.
In May AT&T was forced to close doors to a number of stores after nearly 40,000 union employees walked off the job for a three-day strike.