Wireless carrier AT&T has been in a prolonged back and forth with its own employees and the Communication Workers of America, but the battle seems to be over, with CWA and AT&T employees having approved a contract offered by the carrier. This new contract applies to around 21,000 AT&T employees across 36 different states. The central complaint that brought about contract negotiations was the destabilization of job security, among other consequences, due to outsourcing. This and many other pain points have been addressed in a new contract, which will take effect immediately and remain on the books until February 12, 2021.
The terms of the contract, first and foremost, say that there will be an 80% increase, at a minimum, in the amount of customer service calls handled by CWA members. Since nearly all US AT&T employees that the contract applies to are CWA members, this effectively means that outsourcing and offshoring will be decreased drastically. As an additional point to protect jobs, the contract actually treads unprecedented territory by ensuring job security for workers whose jobs are eliminated via a store or call center closing, or a particular job title being eliminated. As far as pay stability, technicians will get greater on-call pay, and $2,500 per year per employee has been added to employees' base pay while the cap to start earning commission has been increased, essentially pushing the money from commission to base pay. Health insurance costs will now be shared on a flat structure, disciplinary measures for using stored-up sick days have been toned down, and monitoring on the job has been scaled down. Finally, safety is addressed in the form of warehouse workers getting additional safety equipment.
This comes after a long battle between AT&T and its employees, with the CWA fighting for the employees. Things were exacerbated by a massive layoff just a little while ago. This battle was a spectacular one, as far as such things go, and resulted in a historic first; AT&T employees staged the single largest retail employee walk-out in America's history after an ultimatum to renegotiate contracts in order to avoid a strike fell through. After many protests and failed negotiations, matters seem to have reached a peaceful resolution. So long as AT&T abides by the terms of the contract, relations should stay peaceful.