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CenturyLink, union reach deal after almost a year of bargaining

Posted:   07/30/2013 09:59:47 PM MDT
Updated:   07/30/2013 10:21:12 PM MDT

By Ryan Parker
Denver Post

CenturyLink and its largest union announced a deal had been reached late Tuesday night, avoiding a possible strike of 11,000 workers.

Earlier in the month, it seemed possible the groups would not reach an agreement and employees in 13 mostly Western states would cease work. This could potentially disrupt phone and Internet service for millions of consumers.

"We're pleased to get an agreement after nearly a year of bargaining," said Al Kogler, spokesman for the union.

The proposed agreement "provides lump sum increases and wage increases. It also provides new limitations on CenturyLink's ability to contract out and move call center work outside the footprint, and includes a commitment to return jobs that have been outsourced and offshored," according to Kogler.

"We certainly came close to striking a few times," said Kogler.

CenturyLink is calling it a four-year agreement. that covers wages, pension and health care benefits. The CWA labeled it a five-year deal.

"CenturyLink and the CWA are pleased that we have come to an agreement that provides our employees fair and equitable benefits and will better enable us to deliver on our mutual commitment to serve our customers," said Glen Post, CenturyLink CEO, said in a statement.