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Verizon, CWA, IBEW Still Negotiating With Third-Party Mediator

Verizon Communications continues to negotiate with the unions on a labor contract governing 45,000 workers with the help of federal mediators in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an independent federal government agency, has been seeking to help the parties reach an accord for a little over a month.

John Arnold, a spokesman for the agency, said Tuesday “negotiation and mediation are ongoing.”

Rich Young, a spokesman for Verizon, had little more to say about the negotiations. “Yes, we are still meeting with the unions under the auspices of the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service. That process continues,” he said.

Verizon is in contract negotiations with the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The unions collectively represent roughly 45,000 wireline workers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Workers last summer went on strike, then returned to their jobs despite failing to reach a new agreement on a contract that expired on Aug. 7, 2011.

Verizon and the unions have been struggling to come to an agreement on such employee benefits and obligations as healthcare premiums and pensions.

In a statement Aug. 15, FMCS Director George H. Cohen noted “progress continues to be made, but, again, a number of core issues remain to be resolved.”


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