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More Than 150 Consolidated Communications Employees Go On Strike

MATTOON, Ill. (AP) - More than 150 employees of a telecommunications company in eastern Illinois have gone on strike as contract talks have stalled. Consolidated Communications and a workers' union have been negotiating since October. A key issue has been pension reform. A federal mediator has been helping facilitate negotiations.

The Times-Courier in Charleston and Mattoon Journal-Gazette reported Sunday that talks broke down last week.

Officials with Local 702 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers say the strike was in protest of "bad faith bargaining." Union workers include technicians and customer service representatives.

Officials with the Mattoon-based company say no television, telephone or Internet services will be affected as a result of the walkout. A company spokesman says there's a contingency plan to minimize customer impact.

Both sides planned to meet Monday.

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