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08/08/2003
Verizon workers in Pittsburgh and throughout the Northeast are ready to go out on strike should union negotiators and Verizon fail to reach a new contract, which would cover almost 80,000 employees. Both the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have said they will not agree to the contract concessions proposed by Verizon management. Verizon workers were ready to go out on strike last Sunday, at the expiration of their contract, but union officials have been continuing their negotiations with the company. While some workers question the effectiveness of continued negotiations given management's history of bad faith bargaining and the fact that communities had already organized for strike support, union officials point out that Verizon is now having to pay two workforces -- the one they thought would strike, and a huge mass of replacement workers, some of whom Verizon has been training for several weeks. The two unions rejected management proposals to cut and have more "flexibility" with the workforce, increase health care contributions, and cut sick days. While Verizon has been saying that a framework for an agreement has been reached, union officials have been less optimistic. Verizon workers in Pittsburgh and throughout the Northeast are ready to go out on strike should union negotiators and Verizon fail to reach a new contract, which would cover almost 80,000 employees. Both the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have said they will not agree to the contract concessions proposed by Verizon management. Verizon workers were ready to go out on strike last Sunday, at the expiration of their contract, but union officials have been continuing their negotiations with the company. While some workers question the effectiveness of continued negotiations given management's history of bad faith bargaining and the fact that communities had already organized for strike support, union officials point out that Verizon is now having to pay two workforces -- the one they thought would strike, and a huge mass of replacement workers, some of whom Verizon has been training for several weeks. The two unions rejected management proposals to cut and have more "flexibility" with the workforce, increase health care contributions, and cut sick days. While Verizon has been saying that a framework for an agreement has been reached, union officials have been less optimistic. http://www.cwalocal13000.com/wmeetings.htm http://www.itsintheloop.com/ http://www.cwa-union.org/verizon/ http://www.ibew.org/ http://newscenter.verizon.com/labor/



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