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AGREEMENTS REACHED AT TWO BELL TELEPHONE COMPANIES, TALKS CONTINUE AT THREE OTHERS; HIGHLIGHTS OF BELLSOUTH, SOUTHWESTERN BELL AGREEMENTS

AGREEMENTS REACHED AT TWO BELL TELEPHONE COMPANIES, TALKS CONTINUE AT

THREE OTHERS; HIGHLIGHTS OF BELLSOUTH, SOUTHWESTERN BELL AGREEMENTS
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Union and company negotiators at five regional Bell telephone companies either reached tentative contract agreements or continued talks past the midnight August 8 deadline.
 Some 219,000 workers represented by the Communications Workers of America are affected; another approximately 14,000 are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
 Tentative agreements have been reached at BellSouth and Southwestern Bell. Talks are continuing at Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, and Pacific Telesis. Highlights of the tentative agreements at BellSouth and Southwestern Bell are listed below.
 The CWA contract with U S West, covering 39,000 workers, expires on Saturday, August 15, at midnight; talks continue there. NYNEX, the seventh and last "Baby Bell" company, reached agreements with CWA and IBEW in September of 1991.
 Major stumbling blocks to agreements at Ameritech, Bell Atlantic and Pacific Telesis lie in the areas of health care, wages and pensions, according to union negotiators.
 Local union presidents at Bell Atlantic companies have been summoned to Washington for a meeting at 6:00 p.m. today. Union negotiators have said that "serious concessions" are being demanded by the company.
 Negotiators at those three companies agreed to "stop the clock" on contract expirations, leaving workers (116,000 CWA, 14,000 IBEW) still covered under those contracts.
 CWA spokespersons for the five companies are as follows:
 -- Ameritech: Jeff Rechenbach, 216-333-6363;
 -- Bell Atlantic: Pat Shelor, 202-628-2100, ext. 1418;
 -- BellSouth: Nettie Walraven, 404-296-5553;
 -- Pacific Telesis: Vira Milirides, 415-348-7303;
 -- Southwestern Bell: Jennings Wooldridge, 314-421-2211.
 HIGHLIGHTS OF CWA TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH BELLSOUTH
 Wages and Profit-Sharing
 CWA District Three Vice President Gene Russo reported base wage gains of 11.3 percent including continued cost-of-living-adjustments (COLA) over three years and profit-sharing.
 Employment Security
 A broad range of employment security provisions include expansion of the job pool for surplused workers, a shifting of work previously done by contractors to the bargaining unit, special leave programs to reduce surpluses, and improvements in compensation for surplused workers.
 A joint committee to study contracted work, with a goal of returning work to union members, will have unprecedented access to the company's files, records and financial documents. The union considers this a major breakthrough in the industry on confronting the problem of loss of jobs to contract labor.
 Other Improvements
 Contract items improved include health care benefits and pensions, along with other gains.
 HIGHLIGHTS OF CWA TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH SOUTHWESTERN BELL
 Wages and Profit-Sharing
 CWA District Six Vice President Vic Crawley reported base wage increases of 12.3 percent over three years, plus additional days off with pay that give many workers an extra 3.6 percent; upgrades for workers in rural areas will raise their pay to the same level as urban area workers. In addition, a new "success sharing" plan will give employees $37 million in cash and/or stock.
 Employment Security
 Major gains in employment security protections include neutrality and access for organizing in Southwestern Bell subsidiaries. Surplus employees have transfer rights to other subsidiaries. Union recognition in any new telephone company subsidiaries performing work currently performed by telephone employees and staffed by a majority of current telephone employees.
 As part of "The Strategic Alliance: Gateway to the 21st Century," a joint task force to deal with subcontracting issues will be formed. Arrangements have been made to return contract work to surplus craft workers.
 Other Improvements
 Under the above-mentioned Alliance, committees will study ways to eliminate secret monitoring, sales quota issues, health care cost containment, and technological change issues. There were also improvements in health care, family care plans (including $2,000 adoption assistance, flexible leave and 50 percent benefits coverage during child and elder care leave), and pensions.
 CWA represents over 600,000 workers in telecommunications, printing, publishing, media, health care, and the public sector in the United States and Canada.
 -0- 8/9/92 R
 /CONTACT: Jeff Miller or Gaye Williams Mack of CWA, 202-434-1172/
 (BEL) CO: Communications Workers of America; Ameritech; Bell Atlantic;
 BellSouth; Pacific Telesis; Southwestern Bell ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:


TS -- NYSU008R -- 8330 08/10/92 07:01 EDT
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Date:Aug 10, 1992
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