Qwest and members of its largest employee union are negotiating in hopes of heading off a strike but the company's mandatory overtime policy has become a key sticking point.
A contract covering 25,000 workers in more than a dozen states is set to expire at midnight Saturday.
Employees say they've been called into work on their way to church or soccer games and others worry about who will watch their children if they're forced to work late.
The current contract calls for a maximum of eight overtime hours a week and the union says Qwest wants to boost that to 16. Qwest officials aren't commenting on the progress of the talks or specifics of their proposal.