Verizon, Unions Agree to Federal Mediator

Talks will continue this week in Washington

Verizon and representatives of the CWA and IBEW communications workers unions have agreed to federal mediation of their current acrimonius contract dispute.

That followed a meeting Tuesday (May 17) with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and federal mediator Allison Beck, who will assist in the negotiations.

Discussions will continue this week in Washington.

“I’m encouraged by the parties’ continued commitment to remain at the bargaining table and work toward a resolution,” said Perez. “We will continue to facilitate conversations to help the unions and the company reach an agreement.”

Citing complaints including that Verizon was not expanding FiOS and instead shedding workers who installed the video service, about 39,000 workers struck Verizon April 13.

Last week, Verizon and striking workers agreed to return to the table on Tuesday after the Obama Administration stepped in.

Somewhere between 36,000 and 40,000, East Coast Verizon wireline workers--including FiOS employee--represented by the Communications workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, are striking.