Verizon Workers on East Coast Don’t Walk Off Job, Even Without Contract

Verizon doesn’t have to worry about immediately losing 39,000 workers on the East Coast to a strike, even though a collective bargaining agreement expired over the weekend.

The workers will labor without a contract while two unions – the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – continue to negotiate with Verizon in hopes of reaching a new collective bargaining agreement. The majority of workers previously voted to authorize a strike if necessary.

To date, the company and the unions have been far apart on reaching a meeting of the minds.

“Despite our best efforts, Verizon refuses to engage in serious bargaining towards a fair contract,” said Dennis Trainor, vice president for CWA District One, which represents Verizon workers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. “Verizon has earned $1 billion a month in profits over the last 18 months, and paid its top handful of executives $249 million over the last 5 years, but continues to insist on eliminating our job security and driving down our standard of living.”

New York-based Verizon has said it will continue to work on reaching an agreement that protects good jobs.

“We commit to you that, for our part, we will continue to work through this process until we reach a resolution that addresses the needs of our dynamic and ever-changing business environment and also preserves good jobs with competitive wages and benefits that we provide to our employees,” Verizon’s chief administrative officer, Marc Reed, said in an internal email that Channel Partners obtained last week.

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