NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than 40,000 employees at AT&T Inc will keep working under the terms of an expired labor contract while their union continues negotiations with the telephone company, averting a potentially costly strike for now.
The workers in AT&T’s traditional wireline telephone business and some other units voted recently to give their union, the Communications Workers of America, authority to call a strike ahead of the expiration of four separate labor contracts at midnight local time April 7.
AT&T, whose total workforce is roughly 256,000, is looking to trim worker benefits to cut costs in its wireline business, which has declined rapidly in recent years. But the union says AT&T is seeking too many concessions. In particular, it says that AT&T wants to significantly increase healthcare costs for workers.
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