AT&T has extended their successful labor negotiations and they have recently announced a new tentative deal. AT&T and the Communications Workers of America union made three separate agreements to cover the workers at facilities in Colorado, Minnesota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Alabama. As per the deal, a raise will be offered to 2,000 employees at five DirecTV call centers that AT&T acquired last year. The offer is yet to be approved by the workers.
The Telco giant said that with the latest deals, they have made nine agreements that cover 8,000 workers at DirecTV after they acquired the service in July 2015. In the month of October, AT&T reached agreements to cover 2,000 DirecTV service workers. The success of AT&T with DirecTV and telecom workers is in contrast with the 7-week strike by about 40,000 Verizon internet, telephone, and TV service workers, and the sparring between T-Mobile and CWA over unionization of the mobile phone workforce of the carrier.
AT&T is one of the major carriers with unionized mobile workers and they have been extending the union across DirecTV. With International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and CWA, they have made more than twenty agreements. Reports show that the last major strike in AT&T happened in 2012 and it lasted only two days.
Issues in call centers have resulted in particularly tough standoffs in telecommunication industry, as these jobs are seen as important cost cutting and overseas outsourcing method. At time of strike in Verizon, workers moved to Philippines to see the call center workers there.
AT&T is making a contract with 15,000 telephone employees on West Coast, where outsourcing concerns are already being discussed. Under the deals that were announced last week, employees who were paid hourly salary in range of 16 to 19 dollars per hour will see small hikes and 500 dollars ratification bonus after the contract is approved. For instance, workers who get a top scale salary of 17.90 dollars per hour will see a hike of two percent in the month of February, and another two percent after a year.
“This achievement was built on months of hard work by DirecTV members all over the country to stand together and demand a voice at their workplace,” the CWA said in a statement. The agreement is made after a “mobilization” of the call center employees, who wore red shirts and called for a deal by Christmas.