After 11 months of mobilization, tough bargaining and a three-day strike, CWA's Mobility bargaining team reached a groundbreaking tentative agreement with AT&T Mobility (Orange contract) that sets new standards for pay and job security for wireless retail, call center, and tech workers.
The proposed settlement covers 21,000 CWA members in 36 states and the District of Columbia; members will hold a ratification vote to be completed by Jan. 12.
The four-year proposed agreement provides a 10.1% pay increase over the four-year contract term, and shifts $2,500 from commission to base pay for retail workers. Under the new agreement, AT&T Mobility retail workers will earn an average hourly wage of $19.20, about 74% more than the national average pay for retail workers.
In a major breakthrough to keep good jobs in the U.S., the settlement includes a guaranteed 80% increase in the volume of customer service calls handled exclusively by AT&T Mobility CWA members. The agreement also requires AT&T to find new jobs for workers when retail stores or call centers are closed.
"After joining together and going on strike, AT&T Mobility workers have won a historic contract that sets a bold precedent for workers in the telecom industry. The solidarity and persistence of our members pushed the company to agree to crucial protections like stronger job security for retail workers and greater fairness in evaluation and discipline procedures that put our members and their families on a path towards greater economic security," said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President. "Let this be a sign to all companies that put profits above workers: when we stand together, we win," he said.
CWA President Chris Shelton said the settlement "affirms the power of working people everywhere to join together and establish new standards for America’s retail and telecom jobs."
More highlights from the new agreement:
- 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.