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AT&T wireless workers approve contract setting new standards

The following news release was distributed today by the Communications Workers of America (CWA):

(Jan. 12, 2018) — AT&T wireless workers approved a precedent-setting contract that rolls back offshoring and outsourcing and sets a new standard for wireless retail and call center jobs in America. The contract covers over 21,000 workers in 36 states. CWA members approved the four-year contract by an overwhelming majority; it remains in effect until February 12, 2021.

“When working people have the freedom to join together and negotiate, they can use their power to increase job security and keep good jobs in our communities, said Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President of CWA District One. “CWA members at AT&T Wireless should be proud of what they have achieved through their solidarity and persistence.”

During contract negotiations AT&T wireless workers and community supporters took to the streets to build support for their demand that AT&T invest in its workforce, protect the basic promise of high-quality customer service, and reverse offshoring and outsourcing with a fair contract. Workers forced AT&T to close hundreds of retail stores across the country when they walked off the job in the largest national retail strike in U.S. history.

“This contract shows that wireless workers like me will no longer put up with companies that squeeze workers then use the profits to reward CEOs and wealthy shareholders instead of giving us our fair share of the productivity we bring to our communities and country,” said Brandon Beck, an AT&T wireless retail worker in San Diego, CA. “We have successfully fought back together against increased sales pressure, reduced pay, and the frustration of outsourced and offshored call centers. We can breathe easier knowing the service to our customers will be better and our future will be brighter. Quality jobs are here to stay and grow.”

Highlights from the new agreement include:

●  A guaranteed 80% increase in the portion of customer service calls handled exclusively by wireless workers who are CWA members;

●  First-ever job security language that guarantees a job for workers whose store or call center is closed or whose job title is eliminated;

●  $2,500 shifted from commission to base pay for 14,000 retail workers, making pay more stable;

●  Greater ability to use sick days without risk of discipline;

●  Limits on the types of monitoring and surveillance of retail and call center workers so that evaluation is fair and equitable;

●  Flat health insurance cost-sharing to ensure workers and their families do not pay more out of their own pockets;

●  Safety equipment for warehouse workers; and

●  Increase in on-call pay for technicians.

The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.

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