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AT&T, CWA in tentative contract for about 9,000 workers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc is in a tentative labor contract with the Communications Workers of America covering roughly 9,000 workers in five states, according to the company and the union.

The contract is one of several the company is negotiating with union workers around the country. Other contracts currently being negotiated cover about 40,000 workers in AT&T's wireline phone business. AT&T has about 256,000 employees in total.

AT&T's rival Verizon Communications has been in negotiations for months for a new labor agreement for about 45,000 workers. Its workers went on strike over the bitterly contested contract for two weeks in August.

AT&T declined to discuss any terms in the tentative contract, which applies to workers in its mobile business. Workers will need to vote to ratify the contract.

The CWA said the company had promised to return a minimum of 2,000 jobs over the four years of the contract. Union representatives were not immediately available to give specific details and AT&T declined comment.

The company also agreed to a rate for annual wage increases as well as no change to existing pension plans as well as a ratification bonus of $1,000 per member, the CWA said.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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