AT&T: 20,000 employees initiate strike

Telecom Lead America: Around 20,000 employees at AT&T
have initiated strike.

AT&T said that wireline employees covered by the
AT&T West and AT&T East contracts have initiated a strike. The
contracts expired on April 7. The West contract covers more than 17,000
wireline employees in California and Nevada, and the East contract covers more
than 3,000 wireline employees in Connecticut.

AT&T has already reached agreements with local CWA
and IBEW leaders in other contracts where employees perform the same type of

AT&T is not proposing to reduce the wages of any
employees in these contracts, or to take away their benefits.

AT&T has been planning for more than two years to
handle a work stoppage like this, and has a substantial contingency workforce
of well-trained managers and vendors in place.

Meanwhile, AT&T announced that AT&T Southeast
reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in
contract negotiations.

Additionally, AT&T reached handshakes on tentative
agreements with the CWA on two other smaller Southeast regional agreements
covering AT&T Billing Southeast and Southeast Utility Operations.

This will collectively cover more than 22,000 wireline
employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North
Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The three-year agreements include wage increases in each
year and modest pension increases.  Health care benefits remain among the
best in the country.

In total AT&T has reached agreements covering nearly
48,000 wireline employees.

[email protected]