AT&T, DirecTV IBEW workers approve two new labor contracts

AT&T employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have voted to approve two labor agreements covering former DirecTV employees in 14 states.

This brings a close to another union negotiation for AT&T. In July, the IBEW and AT&T worked out two tentative agreements for the DirecTV workers. Each of the contracts focuses on wages, health care, pension, and work rules, and is the first with this group of employees.

One of the agreements covers over 1,600 employees in AT&T's field services group, located in 14 states. The other agreement covers nearly 1,300 AT&T employees working in call centers in Boise, Idaho and Missoula, Montana.

Former DirecTV employees covered under these contracts joined AT&T when the telco purchased the pay-TV provider in July 2015.

Signing this deal with its DirecTV workforce is important for AT&T as it looks to expand its DirecTV service presence.

AT&T has been making progress in negotiating new contracts with its union workforce.

In April, CWA-represented employees voted to ratify a union labor agreement covering more than 9,400 Mobility employees in its Southwest region. Earlier, CWA members ratified a contract with AT&T Southeast wireline operations employees, and smaller regional contracts covering AT&T Billing Southeast and Southeast Utility Operations -- totaling about 24,000 wireline employees in the region.

However, AT&T is facing a potential challenge with its internet employees that are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Earlier this month, 92 percent of its CWA work force voted to authorize a strike if a new contract can't be worked out, but the telco says the two sides will eventually settle their differences. This contract includes a little over 1,200 employees or less than one half of one percent of the telco’s employees.

AT&T, which began negotiating a new agreement in June, said that a strike vote is not “unexpected” and that both sides are still working out the details.

For more:

- see the release

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