Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Thursday, August 07, 2003
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Quick Verizon Update

Reuters reports:

Talks for a new labor contract between Verizon Communications Inc., the largest U.S. telephone company, and two of its unions bogged down on Thursday over a new proposal on job security.
The New York-based company and the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers continued contract talks, hoping to resolve persistent disagreements over job security and health care costs.
The unions said in a statement that new proposals it received from the company "have increased the complexity of talks" and some issues about job security have been referred to two regional units of the unions.
Specifically, Verizon wants to change contract provisions regarding workforce adjustments and personnel movement in "surplus" situations, the unions said.
Verizon said it needs to slash expenses in the face of escalating competition and slack demand. It has been trying to offset a decline in its core local telephone business by plowing into newer markets such as long-distance.

The unions want to preserve existing jobs and benefits, and have an opportunity to land jobs in the faster-growing parts of the company, such a wireless and data.
Verizon said the bargainers have agreed to a basic framework on all major issues, and they were in the process of finalizing many of the contract documents.

The CWA, which represents the bulk of the union work force, said major issues still must be resolved.


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