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More than 14 months after their contract expired, Communications Workers of America ratified this week four-year agreements with AT&T Inc. that include increased job security measures.

The deals cover 14,000 workers in the Midwest and at the Dallas-based telecommunications company's national Legacy T unit. The union declined to provide the margins by which the contracts passed. The previous contract expired in April 2018, which led to a public campaign in which workers voiced their concerns about closing call centers in the region and the outsourcing of jobs.

"The agreement we reached with the company provides our employees with employment security that was very important to our membership, considering how the economy is and with the communications industry being in flux," said Curt Hess, assistant to the vice president of the union's District 4.

The Midwest contract includes a commitment to increase the headcount at AT&T's call center by at least 50 in Southfield and Dayton, Ohio. It also includes language that will provide opportunities for workers to get other positions within the company and potentially stay in their communities if their jobs are affected, Hess said. The Legacy T contract reduces limits on involuntary layoffs to 400 from 500.

Both contracts also increase wages by 10.5% over the length of the agreement and cap health-care costs.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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