CenturyLink, Qwest come to terms with telecom labor unions

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest (NYSE: Q) have struck an agreement with the telecom industry's two most powerful unions--the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)--which both agreed to drop any opposition to the pending merger between the two telcos.

The two telcos and the unions said they will jointly work together on various issues, including employment levels, call center stability, broadband investments and employee healthcare benefits. In addition, CenturyLink and Qwest will honor all existing collective bargaining agreements.

When the deal is complete early next year, the service provider will maintain its current company headquarters in Monroe, La. with a key operational presence in Denver, Co.

Finding harmony between unions and large telecom service providers, especially those that are in the midst of a large merger process, is never easy. Prior to completing its acquisition of Verizon's rural lines in 14 states, Frontier faced plenty of protest from the CWA especially in its West Va. market, one that Verizon all but abandoned in favor of its larger tier 1 NFL markets.

For more:
- see the release

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