Striking Verizon employees heading back to work

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Striking Verizon workers will head back to work on Wednesday after finalizing a tentative new contract with the telecommunications company.

The proposal for a four-year contract announced over the holiday weekend includes a 10.9 percent raise as well as other compensation boosts. The company had proposed a much lower figure.

{mosads}Verizon also agreed to create 1,300 new call center jobs, according to the unions. And the company made a concession in the form of a new contract for certain retail workers.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez stepped in earlier this month as negotiations failed to produce a contract. The parties worked with a federal mediator to reach an accord.

The strike is now in its second month, much longer than a two-week Verizon work stoppage lasted in 2011.

The membership of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will vote on the contract in the coming weeks. The employees will be back at work on Wednesday, though some will have shifts that begin on Tuesday.

Most of the roughly 40,000 striking employees work for the company’s wireline business on the East Coast. They’ve argued that the company’s initial contract offers would have outsourced workers and cut benefits.

The company said the unions were just attempting to damage the contract talks. But nevertheless, executives had admitted in recent days that the strike was having an impact on the number of installations it had been able to perform this quarter.

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