Verizon and striking unions reach tentative contract agreement

050516verizon on strike

People demonstrate outside a Verizon wireless store during in New York last month. 

Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Some 40,000 striking Verizon workers are poised to resume their regular job duties next week after their unions and the company reached a tentative contract agreement today.

The strike has caused widespread service and installation delays, concerns among corporate customers that their needs would be neglected, as well as violent confrontations and allegations of vandalism and sabotage.

Though the details of the pact have yet to be made public, it reportedly will run for four years and for the first time cover Verizon Wireless workers.

A statement from the Communications Workers of America contends that its members “have achieved our major goals of improving working families’ standard of living, creating good union jobs in our communities and achieving a first contract for wireless retail store workers.”

The strike that began on April 13 is now in its 44th day.

It would appear as though a major breakthrough in the strike was the involvement of a federal mediation agency. From a CWA press release:

 “CWA appreciates the persistence and dedication of (Labor Secretary Thomas) Perez, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director Allison Beck and their entire teams. The addition of new, middle-class jobs at Verizon is a huge win not just for striking workers, but for our communities and our country as a whole,” said Chris Shelton, President of the Communications Workers of America.

In another statement, Perez says: “Throughout the past 13 days of negotiations at the Department of Labor, I have observed firsthand the parties’ good faith commitment to narrowing differences and forging an agreement that helps workers and the company. The parties have a shared interest in the success of Verizon and its dedicated workforce. Indeed, these two interests are inextricably intertwined.”

Verizon has yet to issue a public statement though the company did tweet Perez’s comments.

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