AT&T Reaches Deal for Contract Covering 22,000 Employees

AT&T Inc. (T), the largest U.S. phone company, reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in contract negotiations for more than 22,000 land-line employees in the southeastern U.S.

The company forged a deal with workers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, according to statement from the carrier today. The three contracts will be submitted to the CWA’s membership for a ratification vote, Dallas-based AT&T said.

The new three-year agreement, which replaces a contract that was set to expire on Aug. 9, includes wage increases in each year and “modest” pension increases, AT&T said. The company reached an agreement with Midwest employees last month and is still negotiating with the CWA on the East and West Coast, where contracts expired April 7.

AT&T and competitors such as Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) regularly negotiate with unions over new contracts as rising network investment costs weigh on profit margins. More than half of AT&T’s employees are represented by CWA, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers or other unions, according to the company’s annual report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ville Heiskanen in Helsinki at vheiskanen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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