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CenturyLink workers in 13 states authorize strike

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DENVER (AP) — CenturyLink workers in 13 states in the West and Midwest are authorizing a strike, if union leaders and the telecommunications company can't reach a contract agreement.

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The Communications Workers of America said Monday that more than 88 percent of those voting backed the action.

The union and Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink are trying to reach a new contract for 13,000 employees before the current contract expires Saturday night. The employees include customer service agents, network technicians and Internet support workers.

The union approved a strike during contract talks in 2008 but a work stoppage wasn't ordered.

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 workers in Montana are negotiating a separate contract.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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