AT&T Wireline Workers Fail to Ratify New Contract

By FOXBusiness

AT&T (NYSE:T) workers failed to ratify a three-year contract late Thursday that would have included higher wages for 17,000 wireline employees in California and Nevada.

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The Dallas-based mobile carrier expressed disappointment but said it will continue to work to reach an agreement. The company had been in negotiations with the Communications Workers of America District 9 union representing the employees for nearly a year.

“It was unfortunate that the very fair and reasonable contract was not ratified,” AT&T said in a statement.

AT&T highlighted similar contracts in which the CWA was involved that were ratified in other regions recently, including three-year contracts reached in AT&T’s Midwest, Southeast and Southwest regions that collectively covered about 60,000 wireline employees.

AT&T Mobility and the union last month also announced a tentative four-year agreement covering more than 20,000 employees in 36 states.

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CWA did not publicly comment and did not immediately respond to FOX Business.

Last month, referencing its final round of bargaining with AT&T, the CWA called the tone of the discussions “angry” and the process “agonizing.”

“No stone has been left unturned, no argument has been untried and for the first time in our bargaining history in this unit we have had to utilize the assistance of a federal mediator to bring these negotiations to a close,” it said at the time.

CWA District 9’s elected bargaining committee last month wouldn’t recommend the agreement, though its vice president, Jim Weitkamp, had asked workers to vote to ratify it anyway, saying the CWA had “exhausted the bargaining process” and not left “a single thing on the table."

Shares of AT&T edged slightly higher to $36.27 in Friday morning trade.

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