Unions Ratify Two-Year Contract Extensions With Qwest Communications

Denver, January 5, 2001 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband Internet communications company, and its major unions, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), today announced membership ratification of two-year contract extensions that were negotiated in the fourth quarter of 2000.

"We are pleased that our occupational employees have ratified the contract extensions," said Joseph P. Nacchio, Qwest chairman and CEO. "The real winners are our customers who are recognizing that we're doing everything we can to continue to improve service."

"Our members recognized that this contract extension provides first class pension and wage increases," said John Thompson, vice president of the CWA's District Seven. "We strongly recommended this extended contract and are pleased with the ratification."

"We felt extremely positive about the extension and the ratification," added Clark Spranget, business manager for IBEW Local 206. "This extension is good for our membership and for the company."

"Qwest's decision to negotiate a contract extension to the current collective bargaining agreement was both extraordinary and timely," said Peter Pusateri, business manager for IBEW Local 1269. "The union membership voted 98 percent in favor of ratification. This overwhelming vote can also be seen as our membership viewing our partnership with Qwest as mutually beneficial."

The CWA contract, which represents the vast majority of Qwest bargained for employees, was ratified and signed in September 1998 after a three-week work stoppage. It was to expire at midnight on August 16, 2001.

Prior to its acquisition by Qwest earlier this year, U S WEST sought and the CWA declined to approve an extension of the existing contract. The extended contract will be in effect until midnight, August 16, 2003.

Current union employees represented by CWA will receive wage and pension increases on the following schedule:

  • A 3.5 percent wage increase effective August 19, 2001;
  • A 5 percent wage increase effective August 18, 2002;
  • A 6 percent pension increase effective July 1, 2002;
  • A 10 percent pension increase effective July 1, 2003.

The DEX-IBEW extension provides similar wage and pension increases with different dates based on their contract schedules. A contract extension between Qwest DEX management and the leadership of the CWA has a tentative agreement that is currently out for vote by the CWA membership. The union expects to notify Qwest of the results next month.

About Qwest
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 104,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.

This release may contain 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 Qwest 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 potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to maintain rights of way, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and failure to achieve the synergies and financial results expected from the acquisition of U S WEST, Inc. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties, for which Qwest assumes no responsibility. Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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David Goldberg
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