CenturyLink and the union representing 13,000 workers in 13 states in the West, including Arizona, and Midwest have failed to reach a contract agreement, but have signed onto a day-to-day extension of the expired pact.
The Communications Workers of America made the announcement after the existing labor contract expired at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. CWA spokesman Al Kogler said in a statement that negotiations will continue and workers will remain on the job during the extension.
Kogler has said the union opposes a proposed increase in health care premiums and wants to bring more jobs back to the U.S. The union had authorized a strike in the event that a new deal couldn't be reached with the Monroe, La.-based telecommunications company.
CenturyLink workers in Montana, who are negotiating a separate contract, also agreed to the extension.
The workers involved are in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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