Thursday, August 7, 2008

CWA and Verizon Reach Contract Settlement

The Communications Workers of America, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Verizon reached a tentative three-year contract settlement affecting 65,000 workers from Virginia to Maine.


Verizon agreed to extend union recognition to 600 former MCI technicians at Verizon Business who have been seeking representation for nearly two years. These workers, who perform the same jobs as the union workforce, have received strong support from CWA and IBEW members in a campaign to "tear down the wall" between union and non-union sectors at Verizon. The agreement also includes new opportunities for union workers to provide customer support and service at Verizon Business.


The tentative settlement also eliminates subcontracting of work in a number of job areas, converts many temporary jobs to permanent and brings additional jobs associated with Verizon's cutting edge FiOS technology into the union bargaining units. Overall, the settlement should create 2,500 new union jobs.


Verizon and the unions have agreed to meet regularly during the course of the new agreement to review technological and business developments affecting employment, which will allow the company to stay current with business opportunities while also insuring that the unions are able to continue to represent employees as the business environment changes.


The CWA said the issue of health costs and benefits was a major focus of the talks. The settlement preserves fully-paid health care premiums for all active and retired employees. Future hires will have a defined contribution formula for retirement health care with the amount of Verizon's contributions subject to negotiation in each subsequent contract.


In addition, Verizon agreed to work with the unions in a joint effort to achieve meaningful health care reform. The company will provide funding of $2 million per year to the project.


http://www.cwa-union.org/

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