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Verizon OKs Pact With Workers in California

November 27, 2001|Bloomberg News

Verizon Communications Inc., the biggest U.S. local-telephone company, agreed to a three-year contract with unionized workers in California.

The tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America includes a 12% wage increase over three years, said Julia Wilson, a Verizon spokeswoman. If ratified by the union, the pact would replace the current contract that expires March 16. It would cover 7,900 employees throughout California.

The contract would cover employees, mostly technicians and customer-service representatives, who work in Verizon's service areas. Those are mostly based in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties, the company said.

The agreement comes as Verizon eliminates jobs. It has cut 7,500 jobs this year, mainly through attrition, and the equivalent of 14,000 positions by reducing overtime and getting rid of contractors, spokesman Peter Thonis said last week.

The company, which had a 46% slump in third-quarter profit, and other phone companies, such as AT&T Corp., are cutting jobs and network costs after sales growth slowed.

Verizon shares fell 15 cents to $48.85 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. They've fallen 2.5% this year.

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