updated 6/6/2006 9:04:56 AM ET 2006-06-06T13:04:56

The union representing 2,500 employees at four television stations owned and operated by NBC Universal has voted to authorize a strike.

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians of the Communications Workers of America has been negotiating with NBC Universal since its contract expired March 31. A strike date was not set, union spokesman Jeff Miller said. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

Members at KNBC in Burbank, Calif., WNBC in New York City, WRC in Washington, D.C., and WMAQ in Chicago approved the strike authorization by a solid margin, the union announced Monday.

Issues under negotiation include overnight shift differential pay and health care coverage for new hires, union president John S. Clark said.

"Negotiations are continuing and the parties are working toward a fair and equitable resolution," NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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