Verizon landline workers are expected to return to work Monday night without a new agreement, after striking for two weeks.
Verizon officials and the representatives from unions have agreed that the employees will return to work under the terms of the contract that expired on Aug. 6 until a new agreement is decided.
We have reached an agreement with Verizon on how bargaining will proceed and how it will be restructured, said Candice Johnson, communications director for CWA, in an interview. The major issues remain to be discussed, but overall, issues now are focused and narrowed.”
The 45,000 employees who have been on strike since Aug. 7 agreed to return to work while they negotiate with Verizon Communications Inc. for a new contract. The workers are employed in nine states, from Massachusetts to Virginia, in the land-line division.
Verizon previously had sent out news releases alleging sabotage by the employees on strike, illegal picketing and has also filed injunctions in a handful of states against the workers. CWA filed charges against Verizon with the National Labor Relations Board. Verizon later filed similar charges against the CWA.
The employees also received letters from Verizon, dated Aug. 10, which warned the employees that if they didn't return to work by the end of August, they would lose health and life insurance benefits.
Marc Reed, Verizon's executive vice president of human resources, said the company's managers skillfully met the needs of the customers during the 14-day strike. The company itself said that it would quickly address any surfeit in repairs and unfulfilled requests for service, the Los Angeles times reported.