Facebook Twitter

Unions are reviewing proposal in Verizon labor negotiations

SHARE Unions are reviewing proposal in Verizon labor negotiations

WASHINGTON — Unions representing 85,500 telephone workers in a dozen Eastern states said they will walk off the job at midnight Saturday if contract talks don't produce an agreement on wages, benefits, job security, working conditions and access to nonunion workers.

Union negotiators on Friday were reviewing a proposal from Verizon Communications addressing many of the issues, Verizon and union officials said.

The unions were preparing for a strike that could take about 85,500 workers off the job in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Striking operators and technicians could leave 25 million homes and businesses without help setting up phone services, repairing or installing lines or figuring out their telephone bills. Union representatives are negotiating for higher pay, better benefits and job security and improved working conditions at the telecommunications giant's facilities from Maine to Virginia. The union also wants better access to workers in the company's growing wireless division, the nation's largest.

Verizon, based in New York, was created in June by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE Corp. Its wireless operation is a separate company run through a joint venture with Vodafone AirTouch.