CenturyLink workers in 13 states in the West and Midwest are authorizing a strike, if union leaders and the telecommunications company can't reach a contract agreement.
That includes workers in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. The Communications Workers of America said Monday that more than 88 percent of those voting backed the action.
The union and Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink are trying to reach a new contract for 13,000 employees before the current contract expires Saturday night. The employees include customer service agents, network technicians and Internet support workers.
The company operates a call center here in Sioux City.
Union spokesman Al Kogler said the CWA opposes a proposed increase in health care premiums and wants to bring more jobs back to the U.S. The union approved a strike during contract talks in 2008 but a work stoppage wasn't ordered.
INVESTIGATORS HAVE RELEASED THE CAUSES OF TWO RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE FIRES FROM LAST WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.
A FIRE AT AN APARTMENT BUILDING AT 821 JENNINGS HAS BEEN BLAMED ON A SPACE HEATER BEING USED IN THE BEDROOM OF ONE OF THE APARTMENTS. NO ONE WAS HOME AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE, AND THE BUILDING SUSTAINED MODERATE DAMAGE.
A SECOND FIRE THAT DAY AT 116 MAIN STREET CAUSED MAJOR DAMAGE TO A BEDROOM IN THE HOME AND MODERATE SMOKE DAMAGE TO THE REST OF THE HOUSE.
THAT FIRE WAS CAUSED BY A JUVENILE PLAYING WITH A LIGHTER. THE OCCUPANTS SAFELY ESCAPED BUT A FAMILY PET DIED IN THE FIRE. THE HOUSE OWNED BY HOMERO FUENTES WAS RED TAGGED. THE FAMILY IS BEING ASSISTED BY THE RED CROSS.
DOWNTOWN SIOUX CITY FIGURES PROMINENTLY IN THE CITY'S STRATEGIC PLAN PROPOSAL FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS.
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS DISCUSSED THE PLAN OPTIONS IN MONDAY'S STUDY SESSION.
THE DOWNTOWN PROPOSALS INCLUDE CREATING A UNIVERSITY CENTER, DEVELOPING 150-THOUSAND SQUARE FEET OF RETAIL SPACE, CREATING 50 MARKET RATE NEW HOUSING UNITS, HOSTING A BIKE RACE AND PARTNERING WITH MRHD ON AN INDOOR GAMBLING CASINO.
OTHER PROPOSALS CALL FOR EXPANDING THE TYSON EVENTS CENTER, BUILDING 100 NEW MID-RANGE HOUSING UNITS ON THE CITY'S NORTHSIDE, PARTNERING WITH WESTERN IOWA TECH ON A FLIGHT SCHOOL, AND CREATING A NON-PROFIT LAND BANK.
THE PLAN CALLS FOR CREATING A TRADES TRAINING PROGRAM TO DEVELOP THE MOST SKILLED LABOR FORCE IN THE NATION.
THERE ARE ALSO CALLS FOR INCREASED CITIZEN VOLUNTEERISM OF 40 HOURS A YEAR, CREATION OF CITIZENS EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND FIRE CORPS GROUPS, AND A REVITALIZATION OF NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAMS.
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS WILL RECEIVE UPDATES EVERY 90 DAYS ON THE PLAN'S PROGRESS.