As Verizon contract expires, union members to work without new pact; more negotiations ahead

Industries Associated Press

Unions representing Verizon workers in nine states say their members will work without a contract as more negotiations are scheduled with the wireless carrier.

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Leaders of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced the decision early Sunday after a contract covering 39,000 workers expired. The unions say they're prepared to schedule regular bargaining sessions.

Verizon Chief Administrative Officer Marc Reed said in a statement the company is "disappointed" there aren't agreements but it will continue negotiating.

The unions says Verizon is demanding cuts in jobs and job security and wants to either eliminate the company's 401k benefit match or freeze its defined benefit pension.

Verizon has said the union's proposals are "unrealistic and out-of-touch in today's marketplace."

The contract covers employees from Massachusetts to Virginia.