Verizon negotiations go forward with Labor Department mediator

Verizon negotiations go forward with Labor Department mediator
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Negotiations between Verizon and unions representing striking workers are continuing their negotiations with the assistance of the Department of Labor mediator.

The Labor Department said in a Tuesday night statement that the parties had met with Perez as well as federal mediator Allison Beck. It said that the conversations would go forward throughout the week.

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The agency said that “the parties further agreed that during these talks they will make no public statements, nor will there be comments from the federal officials involved.”

“I’m encouraged by the parties’ continued commitment to remain at the bargaining table and work toward a resolution,” Secretary Perez said. “We will continue to facilitate conversations to help the unions and the company reach an agreement.”

Workers represented by the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have been striking for more than a month over what they say are draconian demands from Verizon on benefits and other issues. The company says that the unions are trying to throw a wrench into the works of the contract negotiations.

The strike has now gone on longer than a two-week work stoppage in 2011. Most of the workers are in the company’s wireline business on the East Coast.

Perez first met with those involved in the strike this weekend in attempt to bring the unions and Verizon back to the table.