updated 04:30 pm EDT, Mon March 23, 2009
AT&T union strike approved
The majority of the 112,500 unionized workers at AT&T gave their union leaders permission on Monday to call a strike during the negotiations for a new contract with their employer. Less than two weeks ago, a strike was predicted to be likely and is now one step closer to fruition, as the majority of the contracts in question for landline division employees expire on April 4th. AT&T, the largest employer of union workers, aims to have employees pay more of their healthcare costs, among other cuts in the contracts.
About 88 percent of the Communications Workers of America union members voted in favor of a possible strike instead of accepting the health care cuts. AT&T has been expecting such a move, as spokesperson Walt Sharp said the strike authorization is "expected and routine at this stage in the negotiations."
The company has previously mentioned that it takes precautions to continue service in the event of a strike but hasn't outlined its particular plans for this latest dispute.