AT&T strike officially started over the weekend after union members failed to reach an agreement. Employees are now working under old agreements in an effort to keep phone service running.
By: Rob Adams
Published: Apr 5, 2021
Updated: Apr 28, 2021
AT&T and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) failed to reach an agreement before the deadline. Talks between the union and AT&T fell apart late Saturday. However, union members continue to work under the old agreements.
"The CWA bargaining teams are very frustrated by AT&T's slow pace in negotiations," Candice Johnson, spokeswoman for the Communications Workers of America, said in a statement.
The AT&T strike will not disrupt phone service as managers and contractors can keep the operating running. The current contracts expired five years ago before a pervious strike prompted the company to reach a new agreement with union members. The company is basically a non-unionized company with approximately 125,000 CWA workers.
AT&T and union strike members disagree on health care and retirement. The company already spends $5.5 billion annually for 1.2 million people.
AT&T wants to enter a new agreement with union members to make workers and retirees to pay more of their health care costs. While this was one of the reasons to prompt a strike, the company spends $5.5 billion annually for 1.2 million people including employees, retirees, and dependents. However, the company is offering modest wage increases, but union members disagree.
CWA says the phone carrier wants to mainly reduce the value of lump-sum pension payments and eliminate future pensions for new workers. The company also told the union members that it was the "final offer" on the table. The union wrote a statement on its website on Sunday indicating that AT&T isn't serious enough about getting a new contract.
Earlier this year, AT&T made a move which shocked union members. It canceled some of its overseas contracts for customer service which opened up 5,000 new jobs in the United States.
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