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Cingular Wireless

cingular_175.gif This telecommunications leader reaps the benefits of respecting workers’ rights and collaborating with employees.

In Partnership With: Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Reaping the benefits of respecting workers’ rights

At a Glance

Formed in April 2000, Cingular Wireless is a joint venture between the U.S. wireless divisions of SBC and BellSouth. SBC owns 60% of the company and BellSouth owns 40%. In 2004, Cingular merged with AT&T Wireless to create the nation’s largest wireless carrier.

Atlanta, GA



Union Employees
22,000 technicians, customer support, and retail sales employees

Total Employees

Annual Revenues
$32 billion

260,000 authorized
sales locations


50 million subscribers

Not many companies display union logos in their stores, but that’s exactly what Cingular Wireless does. The largest cellular service provider in America publicly declares that it is "Proud to Be a Union Company" and has demonstrated this commitment to employees since negotiating its first union contract with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in 2000.

Since then, Cingular has remained neutral during union organizing efforts by not conducting anti-union campaigns. The company instructs managers to treat CWA with the same respect given to other partners.

Cingular’s worker-friendly posture has resulted in a relationship that benefits both management and employees. In 2002, former Cingular Chief Executive Officer Stephen Carter spoke at the CWA national convention and said that Cingular’s partnership with employees who share the company’s goals and aspirations has allowed the company to maintain its position as the industry leader in the highly competitive wireless communications field. For employees, the relationship has produced a contract that includes greater potential for job growth, a fair grievance procedure, enhanced job security, and wage progression steps with automatic increases every six months in addition to annual increases.

While Cingular and CWA do not always agree, the commitment by both sides to collaborate has fostered an atmosphere of mutual respect that improves conflict resolution.





Selection Criteria

> Free and fair choice to form a union

> Collaborating as equal partners with workers and their unions to craft innovative strategies on compensation, performance, and productivity to meet business goals and address challenges

> Providing sustainable wages or progressive increases and worker-friendly benefits

> Protecting workers’ safety and health

> Fostering diversity and inclusion in the workforce

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