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Negotiations begin for AT&T, Communications Workers of America

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AT&T has begun negotiations on contracts with 27,000 of its employees in the Southeast territory.

Southeast region employees, who are represented by the Communications Workers of America, include employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The CWA issued a news release Sunday saying that representatives from both sides met Saturday. However, AT&T regional spokeswoman Kelly Starling said negotiations have been ongoing since June.

"Our members also deserve appropriate wage increases," Richard Honeycutt, regional vice president of the CWA, said in an opening statement of the negotiation process. "Since the signing of the last contract in 2012, they are routinely given more work and responsibilities. Even though their workload has increased, they are still held to the same rigid standards and performance levels that were in place before they were given this extra work."

AT&T issued a statement Monday saying that its employees are "well compensated and will continue to be."

"We are not proposing to reduce the wages of any employees in these contracts, and we remain committed to providing great benefits," the statement said.

Verizon also began negotiations with the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers last Monday. During the negotiations, the company proposed a three-year contract that offers wage increases for 38,000 employees.

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