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February 01, 2005

AT&T Disappears into Pro-Labor SBC

I find a bit of irony in the takeover of AT&T by the Baby Bell SBC-- which also absorbed AT&T Wireless last year through its Cingular Wireless subsidiary. SBC is one of the best union employers in the telecom industry, while AT&T fought its unions tooth-and-nail in its final years.

I worked at the Communication Workers of America a few years ago when AT&T was doing everything possible to frustrate union organizing in its cable and wireless units, despite agreements to allow expedited union elections. In fact, there is some evidence that the breakup of AT&T into its different parts -- long distance, cable, wireless -- was done partly to frustrate the unions.

The cable branch did disappear off to Comcast, but the fact that the long distance and wireless parts of the old AT&T are going to be part of SBC is a nice parable that extreme anti-union attitudes doesn't save a company, while decent union relations by SBC didn't prevent it from coming out on top.

Posted by Nathan at February 1, 2005 06:52 AM