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AT&T-Union Alliance Frays -
In a face-off with more than 40,000 landline workers whose contracts expire next month, AT&T has called for wide-ranging benefit cuts, including sharp increases in health-care premiums and deductibles, elimination of paid sick days, and reduced pensions, union officials say.

The move, which follows a similar effort by rival Verizon Communications Inc. to cut costs tied to its landline labor force, reflects the sharp change in fortunes in the telecommunications business, which has seen wireless business surge and traditional telephone revenue stall.

Labor contracts for 40,000 AT&T landline workers expire next month.
It's also the latest in a string of attempts by major companies to rein in union workers' benefits, even though telecommunications is still relatively profitable and AT&T has a long history as a big union employer.

He said strike-authorization ballots for the 4,000 workers he represents are already printed.
Bring on the will go from slow to massive job loss