Telecommunication carrier Qwest has reached contract agreements with two unions and avoided any possible interruption of the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Qwest announced Monday it has agreed to contracts with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The CWA contract covers nearly 20,000 union members across Qwest territory, and the IBEW contract covers about 200 members in Montana.
A CWA contract, which expired Sunday, had the potential to disrupt both of the U.S. major parties' conventions, both of which are in cities with Qwest telecom services. The Democratic National Convention is Aug. 25 to 28 in Denver, and the Republican National Convention is Sept. 1 to 4 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
On Friday, the CWA's executive board voted to allow a strike if negotiations did not result in a contract. The board did not set a date for the strike.
The contract was hammered out late Sunday, and negotiators were still reviewing the contract details Monday morning, the CWA said in a news release.
"This agreement achieves our major objectives of providing quality jobs, adequate health care, and living wages for our members," CWA District 7 Vice President Louise Caddell said in a statement.
The negotiators confronted key issues, including health care for workers, Qwest said in a news release. "I'm confident Qwest will be a stronger company because of tonight's result," Teresa Taylor, Qwest's executive vice president and chief administrative officer, said in a statement.