Wednesday, August 3, 2005

CWA Members Vote Strike Authorization at Qwest

Members of the Communications Workers of America working at Qwest Communications voted overwhelmingly to give CWA leaders authorization to call a strike if a fair contract cannot be reached. The current contract covering 25,000 CWA- represented workers at Qwest will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 14.

"CWA wants to reach a fair agreement with Qwest, but management must recognize that our members have made substantial sacrifices to help keep Qwest in business over a very rocky period," said Annie Hill, CWA District 7 Vice President. "Our members want Qwest to succeed, but we also expect management to come to the bargaining table with fair proposals, not excessive demands for shifting health care costs to workers and retirees, and demands for increased mandatory overtime work that force workers to spend even more time away from their families."

The CWA noted that this is the first full contract bargaining session since 1998. Two contract extensions were approved by CWA members in 2001 and 2003, in the wake of Qwest's serious financial difficulties caused by the previous management team headed by Joseph Nacchio.

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