The largest strike in America in the last 5 years – by almost 40,000 CWA and IBEW workers from Massachusetts to Virginia – may be nearing an end. The Department of Labor has announced an agreement in principle between Verizon and the labor unions representing workers in six-week strike. The 4-year agreement, now being put into writing, with U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez saying he expects that the strikers will be “back on the job next week.”
Adding from CWA’s statement a few minutes ago, the union will now take down pickets, and announces that among agreed items is the first contract for retail wireless workers, adding union jobs on the East Coast, and improvements to workers’ standard of living. When I have details, I’ll post them for the benefit of all those who dropped by to walk the picket line in solidarity, brought coffee, or sent pizzas. Or showed up with the Bus for Progress.
Just yesterday, picket lines in four corners of New Jersey swelled with the support of NJ Bernie Sanders supporters and other friends from the labor movement. Sanders made the issues in the Verizon strike – including shipping good jobs overseas and breaking promises to retired workers – an issue as he campaigned in both New York and New Jersey. And Hillary Clinton also visited picket lines during the lead-up to the NY primary.
The deal came after 13 days of negotiation at the Dept. of Labor and will next be submitted to union members for ratification.
I hope the agreement reached is a fair one and members see reason to pass it. There will be more at #victoryatverizon on Twitter.