(AP) -- AT&T Inc. and its largest union say they have reached a tentative deal on a new contract for 18,500 employees in the Midwest.
The deal was reached after nearly five months of negotiations with the Communications Workers of America. The previous contract expired three months ago.
The CWA says the new agreement "safeguards" the health benefits, which had been a sticking point in the talks. Union members will vote on the deal in the next few days.
The phone company is still negotiating with the union in five other districts, covering nearly 100,000 workers.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: Bose sues Beats over headphone patents