|Members of Local 1298 in Connecticut rallied, marched and stayed strong during 18 months of AT&T bargaining that finally led to a tentative contract this week.|
CWA members' solidarity during 18 long months of bargaining paid off Wednesday night in Connecticut when Local 1298 reached a tentative agreement with AT&T that includes job protection language the company had refused to include earlier.
"We hung tough, the membership hung tough, we had the support of national, and AT&T knew it and finally realized that 'we're not going to get these guys to move,'" Local 1298 President Bill Henderson said.
The two tentative contracts, one for nearly 3,400 core employees and the other for 176 yellow page workers, are the last in the round of bargaining that CWA and AT&T began at tables nationwide in 2009. Ratification ballots will be sent to members on Monday and must be returned by Sept. 7.
Both of the 1298 agreements require AT&T to keep at least 84 percent of the represented jobs in Connecticut. "It's not everything we wanted, but it's big for us and we can build on it in the future," Henderson said.
CWA District 1 Vice President Chris Shelton praised the negotiating team. "The bargaining committee stayed focused and devoted themselves to getting a just contract for the members and I thank them, my assistant Dennis Trainor and Staff Representative Pat Telesco for their work and dedication," he said.