Verizon Workers End Strike Amidst Real Changes
Finance| | By Lauren Boudreau
Verizon workers are finally getting the justice they’ve sought for seven weeks while on strike. Nearly 40,000 workers went on strike about 45 days ago after the company transferred thousands of jobs overseas, threatened to freeze pensions, closed call centers, forced workers to commute crazy distances to work, and transferred them for “long-term projects” away from home.
Now, however, real change is finally happening. Verizon came to a deal with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) unions to add 1,300 new East Coast call center jobs and give a 10.9 percent wage increase over the next four years, according to a press release. Workers in the Mid-Atlantic will also receive a $1,250 signing bonus, while the Northeast will receive a $1,000 signing bonus and $250 healthcare reimbursement account. This plan isn’t set in stone yet. Workers still need to vote to put it in action, which will take place June 17. Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America, is already calling this deal a win for workers everywhere. “The addition of good new jobs at Verizon is a huge win not just for striking workers, but for our communities and the country as a whole,” he said. “It proves that when we stand together we can raise up working families, improve our communities and advance the interests of America’s working people.” Even Verizon executives are happy with the agreement, saying it benefits everyone. “The tentative agreements reached today are good for our employees, good for our customers and will be good for our business,” Marc Reed, Verizon’s chief administrative officer told A Plus. “The new contracts will help ensure that Verizon employees continue to receive solid wages and excellent healthcare and retirement benefits.”
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