Verizon Workers Union Rep. Optimistic A Deal Will Be MadePlay
The two-week strike by unionized Verizon Communication employees will end Tuesday, after the two unions representing Verizon workers agreed to return to work while bargaining talks continue.
Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro expressed optimism Monday that this latest development will lead to a settlement.
"I think that it's good news that both sides feel that they've made some progress here, and I certainly think that will lead to some fruitful discussions that will get us to a new contract," Santoro said.
The return-to-work agreement calls for both parties to abide by the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement at least for the next 30 days.
Paul Feeney — spokesman for one of the two unions representing Verizon workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) — said that the two sides have made significant strides already.
"They narrowed the focus, they narrowed the scope of some of the issues, they set up a new framework for bargaining, and that was enough progress for us to put our people back to work today and to continue to negotiate this contract," Feeney told Morning Edition's Bob Oakes.
Feeney said that getting union workers back to work is a step in the right direction and he said he hopes the company and the union can come to an agreement in the near future.
"Collective bargaining is a messy process, but it works," Feeney said. "It doesn't work when one side or both sides are inflexible."
This program aired on August 23, 2011.