Verizon union workers from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on Friday “overwhelmingly” approved new contracts with the carrier.
In separate votes, CWA members in the New York-New England, Mid-Atlantic and New Jersey districts ratified the new four-year contracts. IBEW workers from the New York, New England and Mid-Atlantic regions similarly approved the contracts by an overwhelming margin, union representatives said.
“The ratification of these hard-won contracts cements an incredible victory for the nearly 40,000 courageous workers who put everything on the line to protect the good jobs for their families and for all American families,” said CWA District 1 vice president Dennis Trainor. “When working people come together as a union, we can make a difference in improving wages and providing stability for families.”
According to union officials, the ratification votes were conducted by local unions between May 31 and June 17 via membership meetings, mail-in ballots or walk-in voting following the announcement of a tentative agreement with Verizon at the end of May.
The agreement was the result of a nearly two-month long strike in which almost 40,000 Verizon wireline and wireless workers walked off the job. The strike followed 10 months of unsuccessful contract negotiations with Verizon.
After negotiations between Verizon and the unions broke down during the strike in April, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez stepped in in May to bring the parties back to the bargaining table. An agreement was reached nearly two weeks later.
Workers have been back on the job since June 1.
The new contract offers union workers a 10.5 percent raise over the term of the agreement, including three percent upon ratification and 2.5 percent on each anniversary of the contract. CWA said the deal also includes three one percent pension increases over the term of the agreement.