CWA Stays on Job

The Communications Workers of America decided to stay on the job Sunday after the Midnight, Aug. 1, contract deadline, with Verizon expired without a new one.

The union negotiators left the round-the-the clock negotiations, but said they were prepared to resume regular bargaining sessions and would continue to work without a contract.

CWA pointed out that 86% of its members--39,000 along the East Coast are affected--have voted to authorize a strike "if necessary," but it said Saturday night had not been the right time.

CWA has argued that Verizon has refused to build out FiOS to underserved communities.

"In these negotiations, the union members’ interest is linked directly to the public interest, since our jobs involve maintaining quality service on traditional landlines and building and servicing Verizon’s state of the art FiOS broadband network," the union said over the weekend.

Verizon has countered that that is a red herring, saying the negotiations have nothing to do with FiOS.

At press time Monday, Candice Johnson of CWA said the union was ready to re-start talks any time Verizon was ready to come off its initial demands. She said there was no indication Verizon was ready to do so but that the ball was in their court.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.