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AT&T Wireless workers threaten strike

About 21,000 AT&T Wireless workers, including about 75 in Western New York, are threatening to strike, after their union opted not to extend an expired contract.

The Communications Workers of America on Friday gave the company 72 hours' notice it was ending a contract extension, citing frustration with a lack of progress in bargaining. The contract between AT&T and the CWA expired in February, but the two sides had agreed to extend it.

In Western New York, about 75 AT&T wireless workers are represented by Cheektowaga-based Local 1122 and Springville-based Local 1115, said James Wagner, president of Local 1122. The workers are a combination of retail store employees and technicians.

"We just want a fair deal," Wagner said. "We just want to provide for our families and a future."

Marty Richter, an AT&T spokesman, said the contract at issue covers about 7 percent of the company's employees.

"While we're confident an agreement will be reached, preparing for contingencies is all part of what we do for customers," he said. "Whether it's hurricanes, floods, snowstorms or even a work stoppage, we're always ready."

Richter said that since 2015, AT&T has reached agreements with 29 bargaining units covering 128,000 employees.

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