Qwest union workers reject deal

Members of two major unions at Qwest Communications International say "thanks, but no thanks" to a deal hammered out between union representatives and management.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

Union workers at Qwest Communications International rejected a proposed three-year contract on Tuesday. But so far, there doesn't seem to be a threat of a strike.

Representatives of the Communications Workers of America and Qwest said they'd meet again this week to continue talks, according to the Associated Press. CWA represents roughly 29,000 Qwest employees in 13 states. Qwest is the primary phone company in 14 Western states.

Union members had authorized a strike when the contract expired in August, but the workers continued working. The two sides reached a tentative agreement days later.

Qwest representatives told the AP that the contract proposal included raises of more than 9 percent over three years. It also increased pension benefits for new retirees, and it would have increased base pay of sales staff. But it also would have added a monthly premium for health coverage. Previously, employees paid only enrollment fees.