Verizon, striking unions at impasse as health benefits to expire

Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:50pm EDT
 
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By Malathi Nayak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A strike by nearly 40,000 Verizon Communications Inc workers is in its third week with unions and the company still far apart on contract talks, even as employee healthcare benefits are set to expire on Saturday.

Workers, from network technicians to customer service representatives, in Verizon's Fios Internet, telephone and TV services walked off the job on April 13 in one of the largest U.S. strikes in recent years after contract talks hit an impasse.

A resolution on various issues, including temporary job relocations, pensions and moving call center jobs offshore, has yet to be reached, representatives of Verizon and the Communications Workers of America union said on Wednesday.

Verizon, which said last week that a long-drawn labor dispute would pressure its earnings, remains committed to reaching a fair deal, spokesman Rich Young said in a phone interview.

A meeting between Verizon and union representatives is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, he said.

HEALTHCARE OPTIONS

Verizon has notified striking workers that under federal law their health care coverage was set to expire on April 30, Young said.   Continued...

 
Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) picket in front of Verizon Communications Inc. corporate offices during a strike in New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid