Over 45,000 Verizon workers who handle the companys landline phone and its FiOS broadband Internet service went on strike earlier this month. This weekend the unions behind those workers announced that they would return to their jobs at Verizon starting on Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal, the workers will end their strike and go back to work under the terms of their current contract but will enter into talks with Verizon that should lead to a new contract with updated terms.
That process may take a while, however. According to Larry Cohen, the head of the Communications Workers of America, the new contract talks are not likely to be completed within the next month. Either Verizon or the unions could put a stop to the negotiations within the first 30 days if either side felt that no real progress was being made. However Cohen believes that the talks will continue beyond that time period in "good faith."
Verizon is asking its workers to accept new terms for its contract which include workers paying to contribute to health coverage, freezing current pensions and more. Since the strike began on August 7, there have been claims from Verizon that its workers have sabotaged some of its operations by various means. The striking workers have also claimed that those who have picketed outside Verizons offices have been hit by cars driven by replacement workers and managers.
The strike did not involve any workers at Verizon Wireless which is partly owned by Verizon.