PRESS RELEASE FROM CWA
Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers who have been on strike since April 13 are celebrating big gains after reaching a tentative agreement with the company.
After 45 days of the largest strike in recent history, Verizon agreed to add 1,300 new East Coast call center jobs and reverse several other outsourcing initiatives that will create new field technician jobs. The four-year proposed agreement provides 10.9 percent in raises, a $1250 signing bonus in the Mid-Atlantic and a $1,000 signing bonus plus a $250 healthcare reimbursement account in the Northeast, $2800 minimum in profit sharing, pension increases, and a first contract for Verizon Wireless retail store employees in Brooklyn, NY and Everett, MA.
“CWA appreciates the persistence and dedication of Secretary Perez, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director Allison Beck and their entire teams. 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. This contract is a victory for working families across the country and an affirmation of the power of working people,” said Chris Shelton, President of the Communications Workers of America. “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.”
Striking workers were back on the job on Wednesday, June 1.
Highlights from the proposed agreement, which will be presented to members for a ratification vote after the return to work, include:
• A 10.9 percent raise over the next 4 years with compounded interest, including 3 percent upon ratification, and 2.5 percent on each anniversary of the contract.
• $1,250 signing bonus in the Mid-Atlantic and a $1,000 signing bonus plus $250 healthcare reimbursement account in the Northeast, and a minimum of $700 in corporate profit sharing payments in each of the next four years.
• The first contract ever for nearly 70 Verizon Wireless retail store workers
• All call centers that had been threatened with closure in the Mid-Atlantic region will remain open. Three of the five threatened call centers in upstate New York will also remain open; the six workers affected in the other two centers will be offered jobs locally in the company.
• The new contract guarantees that an increased percentage of customer service work will be handled by unionized workers. As a result, Verizon will add 1,300 call center jobs, 850 in the Mid-Atlantic region and 450 in the Northeast.