Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and the two of the largest unions representing workers in the telecom industry--the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)--have begun negotiations for a new contract.
The negotiations impact about 35,000 CWA workers and another and another 10,000 IBEW members in the East Coast region from Virginia to New England.
CWA District 1 VP Chris Shelton is leading negotiations in the New York metro area and CWA Vice Presidents Ron Collins, District 2, and Ed Mooney, District 13 are in Philadelphia. Likewise, IBEW New York, New England and New Jersey opened negotiations with Verizon last Wednesday in Westchester County, N.Y., while IBEW NJ are negotiating for new contracts in Philadelphia.
CWA's Shelton said in a statement that Verizon "cannot keep claiming surplus after surplus while hiring more contractors every day. It is not fair to employees to tell them there are too many of them, but that you need contractors to do their work. It's not even good business."
Among the various issues that CWA said it wants included in the new contract are "quality jobs and health care." The CWA's current contract with Verizon expires at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 7 and the IBEW's contract expires at 11:59 PM on Aug. 6.
- see the release
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