A federal mediator is working to help resolve a battle between Verizon and its workers in Southern California. Some of the telecommunications giant's employees staged a one-day walkout on Tuesday.
At issue is their contract. The last one expired seven months ago and the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement on a new one, reports The Sun.
Talks between Verizon and the Communications Workers of America Local 9400 reached an impasse over issues that include a proposed hike in health-insurance premiums and the union's demand that Verizon stop using nonunion contractors for fiber-optic line work.
"We are perplexed and confused as to why these employees would engage in a job action like this," a Verizon spokesman said, as quoted by The Sun. "If they are having an issue with the company, the best way to resolve it is at the negotiating table. This does nothing more than harm our customers, the same customers that are helping to pay their salaries."
Verizon calls its current contract offer "fair and balanced and highly competitive."
"We're in limbo," said Bruce Geam, a seven-year Verizon technician, who walked out on Monday, commenting on the anxiety the employees have over working without a contract.