UNI’s American Affiliate CWA wins huge victory for AT&T workers
21,000 AT&T workers across 36 states have won the first ever guaranteed call centre work. The historic agreement with the Telecommunications giant will include a 10.1 % raise over four years and unprecedented protections, including job security and health and safety provisions.
After one of the largest contract disputes in American Telecomms history, AT&T management and workers representatives have reached an industry standard-setting collective agreement. UNI affiliate Communications Workers of America can celebrate a landmark victory after the largest retail strike in US history shut down hundreds of AT&T stores across the country.
“AT&T wireless workers’ victory is a watershed moment, for themselves and their families, and for working people across the telecom sector who are fighting to keep good jobs in our communities,” said Chris Shelton, President of the Communications Workers of America. “Call center representatives, retail workers and techs from small towns and big cities joined together and refused to back down until they made good jobs at AT&T a reality. This contract affirms the power of working people everywhere to join together and establish a new standard for America’s retail and telecom jobs.”
Head of UNI ICTS Alke Boessiger said, “This is a huge moment for ICTS workers in America and around the world. This collective agreement bucks the sectoral trend of offshoring, outsourcing and exploiting workers.”
“Hopefully, this can set the standard for the industry and more companies will engage in constructive social dialogue with their workers and unions.”
All 21,000 AT&T wireless workers will be voting on the proposed agreement by January 12. Highlights from the new agreement include:
- A guaranteed 80% increase in the portion of customer service calls handled exclusively by wireless workers who are CWA members;
- First-ever job security language that guarantees a job for workers whose store or call center is closed or whose job title is eliminated;
- $2,500 shifted from commission to base pay for 14,000 retail workers, making pay more stable;
- Greater ability to use sick days without risk of discipline;
- Limits on the types of monitoring and surveillance of retail and call center workers so that evaluation is fair and equitable;
- Flat health insurance cost-sharing to ensure workers and their families do not pay more out of their own pockets;
- Safety equipment for warehouse workers; and
- Increase in on-call pay for technicians.