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DENVER -- Unionized CenturyLink workers in 13 western states, including Arizona, are moving closer to striking.

The Communication Workers of America announced Thursday that its executive board has authorized the union's president to set a strike date. Setting a date would be the final step in going on strike but that hasn't happened yet.

Nearly 90 percent of workers voted to authorize a strike in October.

The union and CenturyLink have been unable to reach a new contract to cover 13,000 employees who formerly worked for Qwest Communications. The employees include customer service agents, network technicians and Internet support workers.

The union said one of the disagreements is over whether to bring more jobs back to the United States.

The union approved a strike in 2008 but a work stoppage was never ordered.

Associated Press,

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