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SBC Employees Will Strike Tonight

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – SBC employees represented by the Communications Workers of America plan to go on strike against the telecommunications company on Friday.

The strike would affect about 6,400 workers in Missouri, most of whom are based in St. Louis.

Illinois is also one of the states in SBC's coverage area, but most workers are represented by a different union than the CWA.

SBC spokeswoman Ann Balsamo in St. Louis says the company is ready for the four-day walkout.

"We have trained managers, we have contracted with vendors, we've worked with agencies to hire retirees and other temporary workers," Balsamo said.

We've also expanded our internet and interactive voice and solution mechanisms for our customers. There really should be minimal impact on our customers."

The union says both sides remain far apart on a number of issues, starting with health care.

The union opposes cuts to its medical benefits and wants more job-security guarantees.

The union represents SBC workers in Missouri, Kansas and eleven other states.