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Forum staff reports, Published October 03 2012

100+ North Dakota CenturyLink workers may go on strike

FARGO – More than 100 North Dakota employees will be affected if the Communications Workers of American at CenturyLink moves forward with a strike when its contract expires on Saturday.

The CWA District 7 union stated this week that 88 percent of voting members agreed to strike if a “fair contract” is not agreed upon before the current four-year contract expires Saturday. The contract covers about 13,000 employees nationwide from call-center workers to cable splicers.

CenturyLink Representative Mark Molzen said in statement to The Forum that negotiations began in August and will continue.

“We remain optimistic that agreements will be reached with both the CWA and IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers),” he said.

Molzen said there are 151 CenturyLink employees in North Dakota; 113 are represented by the union.

CWA spokesman Al Kogler said the union opposes a proposed increase in health care premiums and wants to bring more jobs back to the U.S.

CenturyLink took over the communications company formerly known as Quest in 2011.

The union approved a strike in 2008, but it didn’t happen.

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