Cingular Strike Averted

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A last-minute agreement was reached Sunday between Cingular Wireless customer service workers and the company, less than three hours before a threatened midnight strike between the Communications Workers of America and the employees in nine southeastern states.

The union told its members to go to work as scheduled Monday and said ballots will be mailed soon, so they can either approve or reject the tentative agreement.

A Cingular spokesman says the agreement addressed key concerns of the employees and gave the company flexibility.

The tentative agreement covers employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.