Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

DENVER (AP) - Members of the largest union representing CenturyLink workers rejected a tentative contract deal reached in July, but officials said no strike is imminent.

The Communications Workers of America District 7, which represents Qwest employees who are now employed by CenturyLink, voted 54 percent to 46 percent on Sunday to turn down the deal.

The union covers 11,000 workers in 13 states, including Arizona. CenturyLink acquired Denver-based Qwest in 2011.

The current contract has been extended on a temporary basis since expiring last October and is in effect until Thursday. If the pact isn't extended again, the union could call a strike or the company could authorize a lockout.

CenturyLink is disappointed in the vote but believes the contract was fair given the competitive market, spokesman Mark Molzen said.

Union officials didn't immediately return a call seeking details on the rejected agreement.

CenturyLink said the proposed contract would reduce pay disparities and offer employees pay and benefits aligned with similar jobs in their markets. Along with wage increases, it included a commitment from the company to return jobs that were outsourced, the company said.

The union's membership covers call-center operators, network technicians and other front-line employees.

CWA District 7 spokesman Al Kogler said no work stoppage is imminent, the Denver Post reported ( http://tinyurl.com/pfmmld2).

In a letter to members dated Sept. 5, union leaders outlined other possible options besides a strike or lockout if the tentative deal was rejected. The parties could return to the bargaining table, or the company could terminate the contract that had been extended and implement the tentative agreement or portions of it.

"If we went on strike, it would be classified as an economic strike meaning we could be permanently replaced," according to a letter signed by CWA District 7 vice president Mary Taylor and bargaining committee chair Reed Roberts.

The last time CWA-represented employees for the company went on strike was in 1998. The 15-day work stoppage cost CenturyLink predecessor US West, which merged with Qwest in 2000, an estimated $20 million.

CenturyLink and CWA District 7 opened negotiations on a new contract in August 2012.

___

Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: