Teamsters Local 959 and AT&T Alascom reach an agreement

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 8:41 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - After several months of bargaining negotiations, Teamsters Local 959, which represents workers for AT&T Alascom Telecommunication Company, have reached an agreement with AT&T following a new contract.

“What we came to agreement on is some fare increases to wages and benefits,” said President of the Teamsters Local 959 Eileen Whitmer. “We knew going in that we were not going to make up all the ground that was lost over the last 14 years but we feel like we accomplished enough to get a good foothold for the next round of negotiations also.”

Whitmer says Local 959 has been in negotiation with AT&T since January of 2022. She says this round of negotiations has been contentious but the Teamsters have had a lot of support from the state and local legislature.

AT&T owns and operates Alascom Telecommunications which serves Alaska’s largest cities and communities with communication services to include satellite and non-satellite radio facilities, the Anchorage-Prudhoe Bay fiber optic cable, and communication services for the Alyeska Pipeline.

The bargaining agreements directly impacts 170 plus employees who work in technician and mechanic jobs around the state.

“When we first came to the table with AT&T, their proposals with us was extremely inadequate,” said Whitmer. “They were offering half a percent wage increase for a two year period.”

She says this is part of negotiations, but felt they were surface bargaining. This new contract includes wage increases and a cost reduction for family healthcare.

A spokesperson for AT&T noted in a statement, “As one of the largest employers of union-represented employees in the U.S., our efforts have again resulted in an agreement that positions the company for growth and ensures that we continue to provide well-compensated middle-class careers for our frontline employees.”

Whitmer says a strike is the last thing any labor union wants to have to do.

The Teamsters Alascom agreement will expire February 28, 2025.

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