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Qwest reaches tentative deal with union

Qwest may have finally reached an agreement with its largest labor union after months of negotiation.

Qwest Communications International has reached a tentative four-year agreement with its largest union representing nearly 30,000 of its workers.

The new deal adds a year to the contract. It also would give workers a 12.6 percent pay raise over the life of the contract, according to Reuters. This compares to a 9 percent salary increase that had been offered as part of the proposed three-year agreement in August.

Last month, the Communications Workers of America union rejected a tentative three-year agreement. Union members had authorized a strike when the contract expired in August, but workers continued to work.

The new deal also calls for workers to contribute $75 per month for family health coverage and a choice of different plans. It also will include a 3 percent hike in pension for eligible workers retiring after October 12, 2008, the Reuters story said.

The union, which represents about 57 percent of Qwest's workforce, is expected to vote on the latest proposal by the end of the month.