Updated from 4:01 p.m. EST
wireless workers have voted to authorize a strike if the company doesn't agree to a new contract that addresses their union's concerns about compensation, employment security and working conditions.
According to the Communications Workers of America, a motion to authorize a strike if an agreement isn't made by a deadline received an 85% yes vote.
The current contract, which covers 20,000 CWA members in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, Mountain States and the West Coast, expires at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 8.
"The CWA bargaining team reports very little progress and stressed that many issues need to be resolved," the union said in a statement posted on its Web site.
The strike authorization is routine in contract negotiations, according to
The Associated Press
, and union workers usually keep working under the old contract's terms for a while should an agreement not be made by deadline.
"The parties are continuing to negotiate and we're hopeful of reaching a contract," said AT&T spokesman Walt Sharp, according to
AT&T shares closed up 3.7% to $26.08.