After 13 days of talks at the U.S. Department of Labor, the six-week old strike by labor unions against the mostly landline and Internet side of Verizon appeared to have reached a tentative agreement Friday afternoon. U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced that Verizon and the unions have reached an “agreement in principle” on a four-year contract. He said he expects Verizon’s (NYSE: VZ) striking workers to be “back on the job next week,” CNN reported. One twist on the possible deal is that it opens the door to Verizon’s wireless retail store entering into a union contract. Both the company and the unions confirmed a deal had been struck but specific details were not released.
However, the Communications Workers of America said Verizon has agreed to add “good union jobs” on the East Coast as part of the agreement, CNN said. The CWA also said the agreement will improve the living standards of working families, and paves the way for the first contract for wireless retail store workers.
“This proves that when we stand together we can raise up working families, improve our communities and protect the American middle class.” Chris Shelton, president of the CWA, said in a statement.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said it plans to share details on the agreement with its members in the coming days.
An end to the strike couldn’t come fast enough for Wall Street. Last week, analysts at Wells Fargo and other research companies began trimming their 2016 earnings forecasts for the carrier. But for others, it could mean the quick end to temporary riches. A 57-year-old Delaware man who had been working as security guard for a firm contracted to an area Wal-Mart where he was paid $10 an hour, was suddenly shifted to a nearby Verizon site when his company contracted with Verizon. In a text message to a friend in Maryland sent Thursday evening, the security guard said he had been photographing strikers from an unidentified truck. “I’m working the Verizon strike in Newark, Delaware for $360 a day,” the man wrote. “Milking it until no longer needed.”
Shares of Verizon closed up 45 cents at $50.61 on Friday.