- City suspends liquor license for downtown Cape bar; owners say they want to fix problems (3/26/17)6
- Mall aboard: Future requires evolution at West Park Mall (3/24/17)24
- Legal discrimination complaint, ethics complaint filed in Scott City government (3/22/17)13
- Business notebook: Cape native goes from farm to mobile-food operation (3/20/17)1
- Former Southeast softball coach sues Board of Regents; seeks damages and her job back (3/23/17)15
- Former Scott City administrator: 'I was forced to resign' (3/21/17)6
- Triplett manslaughter case set for July 2018 (3/21/17)2
- Two people found dead in Advance house fire (3/21/17)
- Two Cape men charged with second-degree murder of Grandi (3/21/17)2
- Lawmakers put prevailing wage in crosshairs; laborers object (2/12/17)10
Verizon, unions near agreement
WASHINGTON -- Verizon Communications and its unions were nearing an agreement Monday as 78,000 East Coast telephone operators and technicians began a fourth week on the job without contracts.
"The parties are close to an agreement," said Jim Spellane, spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents Verizon workers with the Communications Workers of America.
"They're working on final details, and hopefully those can be resolved quickly," Spellane said Monday.
Negotiators worked around the clock Sunday into early morning Monday, and were to resume talks after a break. They had made significant progress at the bargaining table through the weekend with federal mediators -- enough that a final deal was possible later Monday.
The unions' optimism comes as CWA opened its national convention Monday in Chicago.
Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe was more cautious. "How close we are remains to be seen," he said.
Neither side would say what final issues remained or what significant sticking points had been resolved.
Still, the tone was a stark turnaround from last week, when both sides sparred publicly over efforts to gain a public relations advantage.
The CWA sued Verizon and two executives after they listened in to the union's conference call with reporters about plans to urge the public to switch carriers.
Verizon had complained that a union official violated a previously negotiated cease-fire by using the slogan "Can you hear me now?" in the conference call.
The two unions have been negotiating with Verizon since June. Government mediators joined the talks in late July to successfully avert a strike planned for Aug. 3 that could have affected service from Virginia to Maine.
A strike in 2000 lasted 18 days, causing a backlog of about 250,000 repair requests and new orders.
Verizon's local phone service business is shrinking. Growth areas are in wireless and high-speed Internet, separate divisions of the company that aren't highly unionized.
At issue is how future layoffs will be handled and whether those workers can take jobs in other parts of the company.
Verizon cut 18,000 jobs in 2002, primarily through attrition and voluntary buyouts.
On the Net:
Communications Workers of America: http://www.cwa-union.org
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: http://www.ibew.org/