HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Southern New England Telecommunications Corp. announced a tentative contract agreement with union workers, signaling a possible end to a four-week strike.

The new contract, if ratified, would be effective from Friday to April 1, 2001, company chairman and CEO Dan Miglio said Monday. He declined to detail terms of the agreement until after it is ratified.

``This agreement is now in the union leadership's hands,'' Miglio said. ``It is up to them to explain the details so each member can cast an informed vote.''

Miglio said the union plans to hold a membership ratification meeting Thursday.

The 6,300 union workers walked off the job Aug. 23, demanding higher pay and increased benefits. The company has used 3,700 managers, retirees and temporary workers to stay in business.

SNET is the nation's oldest independent telephone company, serving nearly all of Connecticut's 3 million residents.