Verizon Communications and its workers’ union tentatively came to an agreement on a new contract.
The Communications Workers of America had been without a contract for more than a year. When the old contract ended, workers went on strike for two weeks.
A new contract has also been negotiated between Verizon Wireless and 70 CWA-represented technicians who maintain cell sites in the New York City area.
“We stood up to the most sweeping and intensive attack on our standard of living and bargaining rights in the history of the telecommunications industry,” said Chris Shelton, vice president for CWA District One, which stretches from Maine to New Jersey, in a statement.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who the union thanked in part for the agreement, released a statement Wednesday.
“This agreement preserves service for millions of customers, the job security and benefits of more than 45,000 working men and women and takes reasonable measures to ensure Verizon, a New York company, can manage the costs of labor in these difficult economic times,” he said.
Highlights of the new agreement include:
Preservation of existing job security language, including a prohibition on layoffs of workers hired before 2003 and restrictions on the company’s right to relocate work out of the region.
Preservation of provisions of the contract that restrict the company’s right to reassign workers long distances from their homes.
Preservation of the existing defined benefit pension plan for all current employees.
Additional details of the agreement are being withheld until local unions have an opportunity to present them to members in meetings and at work locations over the next several days. Specifics of the ratification process have not been finalized, but voting will take approximately one month to complete.