Verizon Communications presented a revised version of its final contract proposal Thursday in the hopes of ending strikes and an ongoing labor dispute.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Verizon have failed to finalize a contract since negotiations began June 2015. Workers even went on strike April 13 in response to the troublesome contract talks. The company said the revised proposal comes with a 7.5 percent increase in wages along with other benefits.
“We are putting our last, best final offer on the table,” Verizon Chief Administrative Officer Marc Reed said in a statement to Reuters. “The ball is now in the unions’ court to do what’s right for our employees.”
Unionized workers rejected the last contract proposal over a lack of overtime and outsourcing protections. The original proposal included a 6.5 percent wage increase, better healthcare coverage and an improved retirement plan. It expired Aug. 1, a few months after negotiations began.
“Executives refused to back off of callous proposals that would hurt working families and destroy middle class jobs, including shipping jobs overseas and outsourcing work,” CWA leadership said in a statement. “It’s time for Verizon to start bargaining in good faith in order to preserve good middle-class jobs and ensure that customers receive the high quality service they deserve.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has denounced Verizon on numerous occasions throughout the election over the dispute. He accused the company of corporate greed, low-wages, outsourcing, dodging taxes and not investing in American society. Verizon President Lowell McAdam argued the accusations are just not truthful.
The labor dispute has garnered sympathy from some other high-profile individuals. Senate Democrats have weighed in on the dispute with a letter urging Verizon to negotiate a fair deal. Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also condemned the company.
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