Qwest, union agree on revamped contract

Qwest Communications and the Communications Workers of America have reached a tentative agreement for the second time on a new contract affecting about 20,000 employees. After union members voted to reject the earlier tentative offer, Qwest agreed to extend the contract for one more year, making it a four-year deal. The new arrangement offers union members an additional year of job security and an additional 3 percent pay increase (the original offer included annual 3 percent raises for three years).

However, the new offer doesn't further increase the raises, and it still calls for employees to contribute their own healthcare premiums, two areas thought to be impasses for some union members. The new contract will reportedly be up for vote on Oct. 31, otherwise known as Halloween. Will it turn out to be another fright night for Qwest?

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