Verizon Strike Called Unlikely with Pacts Set to Expire

By Stouffer, Rick | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

Verizon Strike Called Unlikely with Pacts Set to Expire


Stouffer, Rick, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Union contracts covering about 65,000 workers at Verizon Communications Inc. expire at 11:59 tonight, but the threat of an immediate strike appears small.

The telecommunications company is in negotiations with the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers over new contracts. Members of both unions have authorized a strike.

Verizon employs some 4,000 in Western Pennsylvania, and 9,000 statewide, according to the company.

"We're in negotiations right now, and it's our expectation to negotiate a contract with industry-leading wages and benefit packages for our telecom employees," said Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski.

It's unlikely a strike would occur this weekend, as both sides in the past have continued negotiating past the contract deadline. If a strike does occur, the main effect could be delayed installations and repairs of landlines and Internet connections. The most recent contract negotiations were in 2003, with both sides agreeing to a pact a month after the previous contract expired without a strike.

"Negotiations are continuing, and we're certainly hoping for a settlement," said Marge Krueger, administrative director for Communications Workers of America District 13, located in Green Tree. Krueger said the CWA represents 3,000 Verizon workers in the area, and 50,000 of the 65,000 total unionized employees. …

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