Verizon union workers approve new four-year contract

(Reuters) – The union that represents many Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) employees announced the ratification of a four-year extension of their labor contracts on Friday, paving the way for an 11.2 percent increase in wages over the four years.

FILE PHOTO: The Verizon logo is seen on the side of a truck in New York City, U.S., October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Verizon and the union workers agreed to the deal well in advance of the current contracts’ expiration in August 2019, seeking to avoid another conflict that prompted strikes in 2016.

The new contracts, which cover 34,000 employees in northeast and mid-Atlantic regions served by the largest U.S. wireless network, also include better retirement benefits, the Communications Workers of America said in a statement.

Separate agreements were also approved to cover certain Verizon retail workers in New York and Pennsylvania, the union said.

Verizon said in an email to employees that it was “pleased that these agreements have been ratified.”

Employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have not yet completed the ratification process, but Verizon said in an email that it expects the process to be completed next week.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Tom Brown

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