May 16, 2016 / 6:47 PM / 3 years ago

Verizon, striking unions set talks after meeting with U.S. official

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

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and representatives from two striking unions will return to the negotiating table on Tuesday after a weekend meeting with U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

About 40,000 network technicians and customer service representatives in the company’s Fios Internet, telephone and television services unit walked off the job in mid-April in the largest U.S. strike in recent years.

The two sides have remained far apart on issues related to healthcare coverage, pensions and the off-shoring of call-center jobs.

Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam and union officials from the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers met with Perez on Sunday at his request.

Verizon and the unions declined to comment.

“The best way to resolve this labor dispute is at the bargaining table, and I am heartened by the parties’ mutual commitment to get back to immediate discussions and work toward a new contract,” Perez said in a statement issued Sunday night.

(This story corrects paragraph 3 to add dropped letter “s” in sides)

Reporting by Mir Ubaid in New York; Editing by Anna Driver and Jeffrey Benkoe

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