(AP) -- Union workers at AT&T are giving their leaders the authority to call a strike as part of negotiations for a new contract covering 112,500 employees.
Several contracts covering workers at the phone company's landline division expire on April 4. AT&T Inc. is trying to make the employees pay more for their health care, among other concessions.
The Communications Workers of America says 88 percent of members covered by the contracts voted in favor of a possible strike.
AT&T spokesman Walt Sharp says the strike authorization is "expected and routine at this stage in the negotiations." AT&T is the nation's largest employer of union labor.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: Starbucks: Computer outage disrupts sales in US, Canada