Verizon offers reworked deal to union

Monday, August 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK – Verizon Communications said Sunday it has sent a reworked offer to unions representing 87,000 phone employees to address their concerns about issues including mandatory overtime, as their strike entered its second week.

The offer from the largest U.S. local telephone company was given to negotiators for the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers early Sunday, Eric Rabe, a Verizon spokesman, said on a conference call. Negotiations were being held Sunday, he said.

The revised proposal won't move talks closer to a resolution, the CWA said. "In some cases, Verizon's proposals are sending negotiations backward, not forward," the union said in a prepared statement.

In addition to overtime, union members are concerned about whether they'll be forced to move because of Verizon's creation, which combined regional Bell Atlantic Corp. and nationwide GTE Corp.

The revised proposal leaves the job-security issue unresolved, the union said.

Union members also are seeking assurances that nonunion workers won't install high-speed digital subscriber lines, for Internet connections, at Verizon.

Members of both unions struck Aug. 6 after their contracts expired. They serve about 28 million Verizon home and business customers from Maine to Virginia. About 30,000 Verizon managers are substituting for strikers, Mr. Rabe said.

Verizon is trying to solve about 90,000 customer problems after a storm dumped about 14 inches of rain Saturday in parts of New Jersey. Mr. Rabe said the company can make 30,000 repairs daily.