Verizon and Unions Reach Tentative Deal to End Labor Strike

Verizon Communications Inc. and unions representing nearly 40,000 wireline workers have reached a tentative deal to end a strike that has stretched for more than month, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said on Friday.

Shares in Verizon jumped as much as 1.2 percent after the announcement and in afternoon trading were up almost 1 percent at $50.62.

“The parties are now working to reduce the agreement to writing, after which the proposal will be submitted to CWA and IBEW union members for ratification,” Perez said in a statement.

Workers will be back on their jobs next week, Perez added.

Network technicians and customer service representatives in the company’s Fios Internet, telephone and television services units walked off the job on April 13 after contract talks hit an impasse. The action was called by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Sticking points in contract negotiations had included job relocations, offshoring call-center jobs, pensions and healthcare coverage.

Verizon Communications and representatives from the two striking unions had been in contract discussions with the help of the U.S. Department of Labor. In mid-May, Perez brought both parties back to the negotiating table.

The work stoppage at Verizon stretched across several U.S. East Coast states, including New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. 

Verizon said it had trained thousands of non-union employees over the past year to ensure no service disruption.

Verizon plans to report second-quarter results on July 26. Company executives have hinted in recent weeks that the strike could pressure the bottom line. 

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Diane Craft)

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