CWA, IBEW authorize strike if no deal signed with Verizon

CWA and IBEW members overwhelmingly voted to approve a walkout if negotiations with Verizon don’t produce a deal by Aug. 2, reports Crain’s New York Business. Union leaders said 91 percent of the 65,000 East Coast Communications Workers of America union members were on board for a work action or strike. An additional 15,000 mostly out-of-state workers who are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

 “That’s pretty much standard procedure,” a Verizon spokesman said. “It really doesn’t mean anything about the tenor of the negotiations.”

At issue? The usual: wages, health care, work rules and protection of union jobs, potentially the sticking point as Verizon looks for ways to cut costs. In 2000, the CWA staged an 18-day strike; it extended negotiations in 2003 to avert a walkout. This time around, striking a deal could be more difficult.

For more:
- See the story in Crain’s New York Business