The Communications Workers of America began contract talks with US West on Monday, just days after reaching a hard-fought agreement with AT&T.;
The current contract covering nearly 40,000 telephone workers in South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Washington, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming and Montana expires Aug. 12.
Union spokeswoman Carla West said she did not expect the talks with U S West to be any easier than bargaining with AT&T.;
“I think they are going to be worse because they are so divested right now and because competition is going to be so stiff in local phone service,” she said.