A tentative agreement between Verizon Communications and two unions to end an almost seven-week strike includes 1,400 new jobs and pay raises topping 10 percent, the company and unions representing about 40,000 workers said Monday.
Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. wireless provider, and the Communications Workers of America reached a tentative deal Friday. Details of the company’s new four-year contract with the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were disclosed Monday.
The CWA said Verizon agreed to provide a 10.9 percent raise over four years while Verizon put the increase at 10.5 percent. It was unclear why the two sides reported different percentages.
Nearly 40,000 network technicians and customer service representatives in Verizon’s Fios internet, telephone and television services units walked off the job April 13.
Striking workers will be back on the job Wednesday, the CWA said.
The workers have been without a contract since the agreement expired in August and healthcare coverage ran out at the end of April. In 2011, Verizon workers went on strike for two weeks after negotiations were deadlocked.
The latest work stoppage stretched across several U.S. East Coast states, including Massachusetts, New York and Virginia. Verizon brought in thousands of temporary workers to avoid service disruptions.
New York-based Verizon will add 1,300 new call center jobs on the East Coast, and 100 new network technician jobs, Verizon representative Richard Young said.
It also will withdraw proposed cuts to pensions as well as reductions in accident and disability benefits. However, the company won cost savings through changes in healthcare plans and limits on post-retirement health benefits.
If union members ratify the agreement, the new contract would run until August 2019.
Verizon and the two striking unions were in contract discussions with the help of the U.S. Labor Department. In mid-May, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez brought the parties back to the negotiating table.
One of the largest strikes in the U.S. in recent years, the walkout drew support from Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Potential Hit to Earnings
Verizon has shifted its focus in recent years to mobile video and advertising, while scaling back its Fios television and internet services. To tap new revenue, it acquired AOL for $4.4 billion and is boosting its advertising-supported internet business.
Claiming a high-quality cellular network, Verizon is locked in a battle for subscribers with competitors AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile US in a saturated U.S. wireless market.
Verizon’s legacy wireline business generated about 29 percent of the company’s revenue in 2015, down about 60 percent since 2000 and less than 7 percent of its operating income.
Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said last week the strike could hurt second-quarter results.
Verizon’s share price closed up 1 percent at $50.62 Friday, near its 52-week high of $54.49. U.S. markets were closed for the Memorial Day holiday Monday.