Verizon and leaders from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are back at the bargaining table on Tuesday.
The parties decided to start talking again after meeting with Tom Perez, the U.S. Labor Secretary, the USA Today reported.
A strike that involves 40,000 Verizon wireline workers from Massachusetts to Virginia is in its fifth week.
“The best way to resolve this labor dispute is at the bargaining table, and I am heartened by the parties’ mutual commitment to get back to immediate discussions and work toward a new contract,” said Perez, in a statement.
Perez noted that both Verizon and the unions are eager to get the employees back to work.
Union members have complained that they are getting the short stick from a company that’s raking in big profit. But Verizon leaders say they need the workers to compromise on health-care premiums and retirement in order to manage costs.
Missed some key pieces of the timeline that started more than a month ago? No sweat. We’ve got you covered in this gallery.
On which side of this dispute do your loyalties lie? Tell us in our comment section.
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April 11: Nearly 40,000 Verizon wireline employees from Massachusetts to Virginia say they’re set to go on strike on April 13 if the company doesn’t reconsider cutbacks raised in contract negotiations.
Read more about what led to workers hitting the picket lines here.
April 13: The workers follow through with their threat, walking off the job after contract negotiations reach an impasse.
Read our story from the day the dam broke.
April 15: The CWA releases a statement saying Verizon workers and customers are “extremely frustrated that company executives are not more serious about bargaining.” The CWA and IBEW say they met with Verizon to discuss the contract covering workers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia, but “after 30 minutes and more demands to devastate workers’ jobs, company executives left for the weekend.”
Click here to read about the mounting frustration.
April 20: Now one full week into the strike, workers call for a boycott of Verizon Wireless while the carrier reports network damage, implying that striking workers might be responsible.
Learn more about Verizon’s damage allegations here.
April 22: The IBEW reports that Verizon sent a letter to all of its striking workers with instructions on how to “scab.” Across social media, striking workers respond with “pictures and videos of letters in flames, in pieces, in compost bins and toilets and, in one case, lining a box of kitty litter.”
Read more about the alleged “scab” letter here.
April 28: Union leaders reject Verizon’s “last, best final offer,” in which the telco upped its wage increase offer from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent over the term of the contract.
Click here to ready why, despite a better offer, the unions snubbed their noses at Verizon.
May 5: More than 250 people, including union members and community supporters, protest outside Verizon’s annual shareholders meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 15 people are arrested.
More than simply where Walter White called home or where Bugs Bunny should’ve made a left turn — click here to read more about the protest and arrests in Albuquerque.
May 9: In its fourth week, the Verizon wireline workers strike delays a pending XO Communications acquisition while a master agent expresses concerns about how contracts will be impacted.
Click here to learn more about the delay of Verizon’s XO fiber acquisition.
May 13: Union leaders step up their attacks on Verizon, this time focusing on offshore call-center jobs in the Philippines, as the ongoing wireline workers strike moves into its fifth week.
Read the full story on union leaders’ visit overseas, and subsequent criticism from the carrier, here.
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