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AT&T Reaches Agreements 'In Concept' in Wireline Contract Talks

By Nathalie Tadena AT&T Inc. (T) said it has reached agreements "in concept" with the Communications Workers of America in wireline contract negotiations for about 18,700 employees. Both parties will continue to work through the weekend to finalize terms that can be presented to union members for formal approval and ratification, AT&T said. The negotiations concern 13,000 AT&T Midwest region employees in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin and about 5,700 employees throughout the country in the AT&T Corp. communications and technologies unit. The contracts expired April 7, and the employees continue to work under terms of the old contracts. AT&T said it isn't providing further details at this time. Last week, AT&T reached a one-year extension agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union representing 7,000 wireline employees, after the workers rejected a similar pact the prior week. The agreement extended the terms of the workers' current contract, which had been in place for three years and expired last month, without modification until June 22, 2013. There are roughly 30,000 AT&T union workers that have contracts expiring by Aug. 4. The company has about 256,000 total employees. In general, telecom carriers have seen their wireline businesses deteriorate as people depend more on mobile devices and switch off their traditional land-based home phones. In recent quarters, AT&T has seen slight revenue declines in its wireline division, which includes traditional home and business telephones and the U-verse television service. Shares were up by a penny to $35.30 after hours. Through the close, the stock is up 14% over the past there months. -Write to Nathalie Tadena at Subscribe to WSJ:

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