Following a 45-day strike, Communications Workers of America union (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced a tentative agreement with telecommunications giant Verizon on 29 May.
The agreement, valid for four years, was reached through the determination and courage of some 40,000 workers who participated in the strike. Workers are scheduled go back to work on 1 June.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Verizon will not outsource additional jobs overseas, instead the company will increase the number of calls routed to domestic call centres. This will create additional 1,300 new call centre jobs, including 850 in the Mid-Atlantic region and 450 in the Northeast.
Verizon also agreed to abandon initial demands on technicians to be available to travel 700 miles outside their home areas for rotating two-month shifts at a time, which would have had a major impact on workers and their family lives.
Additional gains in the agreement include:
- Wage increases of 3 per cent for the first year and 2.5 every following year,
- No cap on pensions and three 1 per cent increases over the period of the agreement
- Retaining competitive health benefits
- Strong job security language