Qwest, union keep
talking as contract expires
The Associated Press
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Article Last Updated: 08/17/2008 01:58:21 AM MDT
Members of the Communications Workers of America listen to
Communications International Inc. and members of its largest
union kept negotiating Sunday as a labor contract expired.
Workers represented by the Communications Workers of America had
voted to authorize a strike if needed, but CWA organizing
coordinator Al Kogler said no strike had been called when the
contract expired after 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
"As long as we're at the table, we're going to keep pursuing
that," Kogler said Sunday.
The union represents about 20,000 Qwest workers in 13 states.
Employees in Montana
are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers, which also was in talks with Denver-based Qwest.
The talks come a little more than a week before the start of the
Democratic National Convention, where Qwest is providing phone
and Internet services. Qwest also is providing service to
the Republican National Convention that begins Sept. 1.
Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs said Saturday night that company
officials were hopeful the sides would reach a tentative
agreement this weekend. CWA Local 7777 Executive Vice
President Lisa Bolton said the sides were discussing employee
and retiree health care, the wage package and job security.