Contract negotiations between AT&T and the Communications Workers of America broke down on Sunday, with both sides saying they remained committed to negotiating a deal. The deadline for talks had been extended to midnight Sunday.
The contract, which covers 20,000 AT&T Mobility workers, had been set to expire midnight Saturday. AT&T said in a statement that the union left the bargaining table on Sunday afternoon but "AT&T's bargaining team remains available for discussions through the agreed-upon extension."
CWA spokeswoman Candice Johnson said the union has not stopped negotiations and that it was prepared to bargain at any time.
On Friday, the CWA said that it had received votes to strike from 85 percent of the 20,000 AT&T workers covered by the contract. The contract covers workers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, the mid-West, Mountain States and the West Coast. AT&T Mobility is the nation's second largest wireless carrier, with around 77 million subscribers.
AT&T said in the statement that it was presenting its "last, best and final offer," which offers an average pay increases of 9.4 percent over four years, said AT&T spokesman Walt Sharp. "We believe that is very fair and reasonable," he said.
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