Klein & Wilson

39,000 Verizon employees on east coast go on strike

Big companies are no stranger to controversies hitting the headlines. They are also no stranger to complex labor negotiations and issues, which are inherent to the business world. Along these lines, we are going to talk about the problems that have enveloped Verizon in recent weeks.

About 39,000 Verizon employees -- all on the east coast -- are on strike after the two unions that represent them couldn't reach an agreement with Verizon on a new collectively bargained agreement. The original agreement actually ran out in August of last year, but the employees have been working during this time as Verizon and the unions try to reach a new agreement.

However, those dreams of reaching the agreement without controversy have gone up in smoke as the unions decided to strike. There are a lot of factors that could driver employees of any union to strike, and in this case they are fairly typical: the employees want more money and better job security.

These are perfectly understandable factors and it is clear why the employees want these things. Usually labor contracts are able to incorporate the desires of the workers with the desires of the company as well. Before that happens though, a lot of anger is thrown out into the discourse and it can create a toxic atmosphere for negotiating.

For either side, competent and experienced legal representation is critical (whether it involves a big company or a smaller company) to ensure that negotiations stay civil and focused.

Source: Hoboken Patch, "Verizon Strike: Bargaining Not Going Well, Union Reps Say," Eric Kiefer, April 20, 2016

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