Qwest, union resume talks

Qwest and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) went back to the bargaining table on Thursday in efforts to hammer out a tentative agreement by midnight today (Friday, October 10).

A previous agreement forged on August 17 was voted on at the end of September, and it was rejected by a majority of Qwest's 20,000 union employees. The offer on the table had a 9.2 percent wage increase over three years, but with higher health care premiums for workers and retirees.

The CWA has not said what will happen if they can't reach an agreement, but a strike has been authorized if the union and Qwest can't come to terms. Both sides may view the talks as now having much higher stakes given recent economic turmoil and predictions of a recession flowing through Spring 2009.

For more:
- Rocky Mountain News reports restart of Qwest/CWA negotiations.

Related stories
Retirees riled by Qwest seeking court costs
Qwest, CWA to resume talks; non-union cuts reported
Qwest union rejects new contract