Verizon, striking unions reach labor agreement

Verizon and its unions reached a deal Friday in principle for a four-year labor agreement, reported the Associated Press.

Details have not been made public yet. 

The unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said they took to the picket line on April 12 because Verizon wanted to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers.

Verizon had replied that there were health care issues that needed to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs had grown, and it wanted "greater flexibility" to manage its employees.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said Friday that the agreement is being written and will be submitted for approval from union members of Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

"I expect that workers will be back on the job next week," Perez said in a statement.

The Communications Workers of America issued a statement praising the deal.

"The addition of new, middle-class jobs at Verizon is a huge win not just for striking workers, but for our communities and our country as a whole," CWA President Chris Shelton said in the statement. "The agreement in principle at Verizon is a victory for working families across the country and an affirmation of the power of working people."