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No Strike, U S West Agrees To Raises

U S West Communications averted a strike on Saturday by agreeing to give 33,000 workers a 10.6 percent wage hike, increase pension and health benefits and preserve hundreds of new jobs for union members.

The regional telephone company, which serves 25 million customers in 14 states, had 15,000 managers on standby as the 9 a.m. strike deadline approached.

The previous contract had expired Aug. 12.

“We’re pleased we could reach a positive agreement without disruption in service to our customers,” said Sol Trujillo, U S West’s president and chief executive officer.

U S West agreed to raise wages by 10.6 percent over three years, increase pension benefits by 12 percent, improve medical and dental benefits, and guarantee that retirees will pay no medical premiums until at least 2002, the union said.