News Releases

News Releases
Qwest and CWA Reach Tentative Agreement

DENVER, Oct. 11, 2008 -- Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and the Communications Workers of America reached a new tentative agreement for a 4-year contract covering about 20,000 Qwest workers. Results of a ratification vote over the new agreement by Qwest CWA members are expected by Oct. 31. In total, Qwest employs about 35,000 workers. The pact follows the announcement on Sept. 30 that CWA-represented Qwest workers had voted down a tentative agreement reached during normal bargaining by both parties Aug. 17. Following last week’s rejection by members, the company and union agreed to extend the terms of their 2005 contract. Talks for a revised agreement have been ongoing since Thursday in Denver.


“The agreement continues a competitive overall compensation program for our workers that compares very favorably to national averages,” said Rich Baer, general counsel and chief administrative officer. “While economic pressures are challenging, especially in the face of rising health care costs and the recent financial crisis, we feel it is the right thing to do to stand by the offer we made in August 2008 of fair increases in wages and modest monthly premiums.”


“We recognize that to deliver the certainty of a four-year agreement to our membership in troubled economic times is a win for our people and a win for the company,” said Louise Caddell, vice president of CWA District 7. “This agreement is reasonable and fair in terms of wages and holding back the towering rise in health care expenses.”


Highlights of this agreement include:

  • A general wage increase of about 12.55 percent cumulative over the four years of the contract. This compares to about a 9 percentcumulative increase over three years offered in the August tentative agreement.  
  • Modest premium contributions to health care benefits and a choice of plan designs. Under the 2005 contract, an active employee had been paying $33 a month for family coverage. The new agreement calls for a $75 per month contribution for family coverage in the company’s PPO offering. If an employee chooses to participate in the company’s optional “high-deductible” plan, family coverage will cost $5 per month. 
  • In 2007, family coverage for Qwest management workers selecting the company’s PPO plan averaged $370 per month.
  • In 2007, the average contribution nationally for similar plans averaged about $480 per month. 
  • Pension increase of 3 percent for eligible individuals retiring from the company after Oct. 12, 2008.


About Qwest

Customers coast to coast turn to Qwest's industry-leading national fiber-optic network and world-class Spirit of Service to meet their communications and entertainment needs. For residential customers, Qwest’s powerful combination of award-winning high-speed Internet,home and wireless voice solutions and digital TV includes a new generation of fiber-optic Internet services. Qwest is also the choice of 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, offering a full suite of network, data and voice services for small businesseslarge businessesgovernment agencies and wholesale customers. Additionally, Qwest participates in Networx, the largest communications services contract in the world, and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by a leading technology industry analyst firm. 


Forward-Looking Statement Note


This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives, among others; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to further de-lever our balance sheet; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the effects of consolidation in our industry; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies; and our ability to utilize net operating losses in projected amounts. 


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