AT&T was unable to reach a settlement with the Communications Workers of America by the April 7th deadline to extend Four Core Wireline contracts. More than 40,000 employees will continue to work under the terms of the expired contract, however, as negotiations between the two parties continue. “The ongoing negotiation reflects the spirit of the longstanding relationship between the company and the union,” AT&T said. The carrier is looking to reduce worker benefits to cut costs in its wireline business, which has declined rapidly in recent years. The workers union has said that AT&T is seeking too many concessions, however, and instead wants the company to make adjustments to workers’ healthcare plans. The Communications Worker of America represents nearly 16% of AT&T’s 256,000 workers and it does possess the ability to call a strike if agreements on new contracts are not reached. AT&T’s press release follows below. More →
On Tuesday, Verizon Communications agreed to pay $93.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department. Verizon was accused of overcharging the U.S. government for both voice and data services. Reuters reports that the the company’s MCI Communications Services unit “invoiced the General Services Administration for various taxes and surcharges in violation of contracts or regulations.” Back in October of 2010, Verizon was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repay customers more than $52 million for erroneous data charges. More →
International Business Machines (IBM) has agreed to a settlement in a bribery case filed by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that IBM, through its overseas subsidiaries, bribed Chinese and South Korean government officials with gifts, trips, and cash payments in exchange for government contracts from 1998 to 2009. According to the SEC’s filing, IBM used “local business partners and travel agencies as conduits for bribes or other improper payments to South Korean and Chinese government officials over long periods of time.” The government agency also notes that IBM tried to hide its wrongdoings by recording the transactions as legitimate business expenses. The terms of the settlement, which would see IBM paying out $10 million, is still awaiting court approval. More →
U.S. Cellular has had a teaser-site for their “Belief Project” up for just over a week, but now, the company is starting to detail just what the program entails. “We noticed wireless customers shared some common frustrations, and we wanted to fix them,” said Mary N. Dillon, the company’s president and CEO. Starting tomorrow, U.S. Cellular will begin offering “One and Done” contracts, which allow customers who have completed a two-year contract to move to a month-by-month post-paid offering. “Belief Rewards,” which — from what we gather — will work like credit card points; the longer you are a customer the more points you earn. Points can be used towards early phone upgrades, additional lines, ringtones, etc. Other features of the Belief Project include: $100 phone replacements for lost and stolen phones, overage cap warnings, and 5% bill discounts for auto-pay. Sounds pretty nice, although, we’re interested to see the fine print. Hit the jump to check out the brief synopsis the company just sent us. More →
Well, here we go… We’ve received information on what WIND (Canada’s new wireless carrier) will offer, so without further ado, the WIND lineup:
- BlackBerry 9700
- Samsung Gravity 2
- HTC Maple
- Huawei U759
- Huawei E181 data stick
You might be wondering about what their rate plans will offer, and while we don’t have specific pricing yet, here are the features and what you can look forward to seeing in the “WIND Mobile experience”: More →
We’re still waiting for an official comment from the Communications Workers of America union but we’ve received a few tips this morning from people claiming to have seen AT&T workers organizing with picket signs. The CWA recently worked with AT&T to resolve contract disputes for AT&T Mobility workers, a story that was widely covered here. AT&T isn’t out of the woods with the union just yet however, as its contracts with wire-line workers in many regions are due to expire on April 4th. Negotiations began on February 24th and have thus far not resolved disputes primarily surrounding health care and other benefits. AT&T’s wire-line business is currently sliding and as such, workers are also seeking the ability to move into new jobs within AT&T as they are created.
This past Monday, workers voted to give the union authorization to call a strike so it is possible a strike is on. With contracts not set to expire for over a week however, the timing would certainly be a bit odd. A strike would affect approximately 90,000 workers according to the CWA.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
UPDATE: We’ve received word from the CWA — contract negotiations are indeed ongoing and a strike has not been called. There is some informational picketing and leafleting going on in various areas merely to show support for the ongoing negotiations.