Verizon Workers to Return to Work Without Contract Deal
Some 45,000 Verizon workers are expected to return to work starting Monday evening after 14 days of strike, and despite failing to get favorable decision over disputed contracts.
Tens of thousands of striking Verizon workers are expected to return to work on Monday despite continued disagreement with the telecom’s management over issues in their contracts.
It will be recalled that on August 7, at least 45,000 Verizon employees – most of which work in the company’s landline unit – went on strike after their contracts expired.
Verizon and the members of the workers’ union have already agreed to narrow down issues concerning the employees’ welfare and have set up a scheme that would ensure the smooth flow of negotiation for the new contracts.
However, many experts expressed doubts in the way the dispute was being acted upon, saying that the talks would likely to be contentious.
They noted that both sides continued to disagree on various issues including the subject of pensions, healthcare benefits, and rules in the workplace.
Earlier, Verizon said it plans to further cut its operations cost in its traditional landline business, citing the massive shift of users to mobile phones.
The telecom giants then proposed freezing pension plans and switch union workers’ benefits into its non-union health plan – costing more for employees.
But union groups said that it is the landline business that supports the company’s booming wireless business, adding the Verizon – which posted a $3 billion earnings in the first half of 2011 – can afford to maintain benefits for the workers whose contract have expired.
Of the striking workers, at least 35,000 belong to Communications Workers of America, while the other 10,000 are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
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