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Tens of thousands of striking Verizon workers may finally go back to work

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

After one of the biggest labor strikes in recent US history, nearly 40,000 Verizon employees may finally return to work.

The Communications Workers of America union, joined by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, announced today a possible pact with Verizon that includes an 11% raise for workers over four years, some changes to the health benefits, and the creation of 1,300 new call center jobs in the US, the Associated Press reports. Workers will likely return to work on June 1.

Union leaders had sought to prevent job outsourcing by requiring that between 50% and 80% of calls originating in a state are answered locally. Under the new compromise—which must still be approved by striking employees—the same percentage will be answered by unionized workers anywhere within Verizon’s operating area.

Verizon has had to roll back several proposals regarding outsourcing and pension cuts, but the agreement may allow the telecommunications company to reduce its work force in the future, through yearly buyout offerings to unionized workers, The New York Times reports.

The strike began on April 13, and has gone on for more than six weeks. Employees are expected to return to work in the short-term, and then choose whether or not to approve the deal.

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