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 (
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,
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development