>> Six weeks of picket lines at Verizon, giving way to preparations Monday as a tentative deal with 2 unions, means 40,000 striking workers will be back to work later this week. I'm Conway Gaze in New York. It looks like workers got the upper hand in this tentative agreement.
They're getting a raise over a four year period of anywhere between 10.5 and 11%. Now before the strike management had an offer on the table of just 6.5%, but the big victory may have to do with the Verizon Wireless workers in stores like this one for the first time ever.
Some of them will be covered by a union contract. The strike also forces Verizon to rethink a plan to cut pensions, but it wasn't a total defeat for the telecom company which took in nearly $18 billion in profit last year. It successfully passed higher out of pocket healthcare cost to employees, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars.
The deal with Verizon is a rare victory for the labor movement, which has seen membership dwindle to just 15 million last year from roughly 18 million in 1983 according to the Labor Department. And public sector unions have fared worse than their private counter parts as Republican led governments like Scott Walker's Wisconsin, aggressively attack unions in an attempt to reduce labor costs.