CWA District 7 and CenturyLink Reach Agreement in 2019

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 7 and CenturyLink, a telecommunications company, reached an agreement in August 2019 after several months of negotiations. The agreement covers about 10,000 employees across 13 states in the Midwest and includes wage increases, job security provisions, and benefits improvements.

Wage Increases

The agreement provides for wage increases of 2% in 2019 and 2020, with an additional 1.5% increase in 2021. This means that employees will receive a 5% wage increase over the course of the agreement. The wage increases apply to both union-represented employees and management employees who are not represented by the union.

Job Security Provisions

The agreement includes job security provisions, which are designed to protect employees from layoffs and outsourcing. The provisions require that CenturyLink must keep at least 75% of call center work in the Midwest and that it must offer employees the option to transfer to another location if their current location closes. The agreement also establishes a process for addressing potential layoffs and requires that employees receive severance pay if they are laid off.

Benefits Improvements

The agreement includes several improvements to employee benefits. CenturyLink will provide a $1,500 lump sum payment to employees who enroll in the company’s Consumer Driven Health Plan, which is a high-deductible health plan. The company will also increase its contribution to the employee 401(k) plan, provide additional life insurance coverage, and expand the vision benefit.

Other Provisions

The agreement includes several other provisions that are intended to improve working conditions and protect employee rights. These include protections against racial and sexual harassment, a process for addressing workplace safety concerns, and improved scheduling rules. The agreement also establishes a joint labor-management committee that will address issues related to customer service and other operational matters.

Conclusion

The agreement between CWA District 7 and CenturyLink is a significant step forward for employees in the telecommunications industry. It provides for wage increases, job security provisions, and benefits improvements that will help to ensure that workers are treated fairly and able to support themselves and their families. With this agreement, CenturyLink and CWA District 7 have demonstrated their commitment to working together to build a strong and sustainable future for the telecommunications industry.