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Delaware Headlines

Verizon strike agreement saves Delaware jobs

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James Morrison
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CWA workers Mandy Phillips and Colleen Driscoll picket a Verizon in Dover in April.

 

36,000 Verizon workers are returning to the job Wednesday. Verizon and the labor union representing its workers reached a deal over the weekend to end a nearly seven-week strike.

Two Verizon call centers in Delaware were slated to be closed when workers went on strike six and half weeks ago: One in Dover and one in Wilmington. This new agreement changes that.

“They’re now staying open. And on top of that we were also able to achieve 55 new hires coming into a fiber consultant title. And these are decent middle class jobs,” said James Ryan, president of the Delaware chapter of the Communication Workers of America union, which represents Verizon workers.  

The strike was always about job security, not money, according to Ryan. However, workers managed to negotiate raises while successfully halting a job outsourcing initiative, which will create 1,300 new call center jobs in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Verizon is pleased with the outcome of the negotiations, according to Verizon spokesman Rich Young.

 

The company gains the ability to route more calls outside the state in which they originated -which is something the union opposed in the past.   

“And it also gives us the ability to offer buyouts to employees at least once a year in areas that may be overstaffed. So it helps us to manage our business much more efficiently,” said Young.

 

Verizon is also saving hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare costs.

 

The agreement is expected to be ratified in the next couple weeks.