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SBC Prepares For Midnight Strike

S-B-C Communications says it´s taking steps to head off service problems during a four-day nationwide strike set to begin just after midnight.

Thirty-thousand phone workers in California and Nevada are expected to join the walkout.

During the strike, the company says routine calls for directory assistance will be answered by S-B-C retirees and replacement workers.

Many other operations, including call switching and S-B-C-Yahoo high-speed Internet service, are automated and may not be affected by the strike.

Calls for installation or repairs may be delayed, but S-B-C says it has hundreds of managers and temporary workers ready to handle such calls.

The four-day strike has been called a bargaining tactic in the union´s ongoing contract talks.