AT&T’s Wireless Division Reaches Tentative Accord With CWA Union

AT&T Inc. (T), the largest U.S. phone company, said its wireless division reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in benefit negotiations for more than 40,000 employees nationwide.

The accord will be submitted to the CWA’s membership for a ratification vote, Dallas-based AT&T said in a statement today. The deal is focused on benefits including health care. Wages, pension and work rules are negotiated under separate contracts.

If ratified, the four-year agreement will take effect Jan. 1 and it covers topics such as health-care premiums and deductibles.

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.

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