IBEW Local 824 Ratifies New Labor Contract with Verizon In Florida

TAMPA, Fla. -- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 824 has overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract that includes a 12 percent wage increase over three years, improved benefits and a continuation of provisions in the existing contract.

The new contract covers 5,300 employees in the six Florida counties where Verizon provides local phone service. It goes into effect Aug. 4 and expires July 30, 2005.

"This three-year contract will provide stability and security for members in a challenging economy," said Kurt Naser, Verizon's chief labor negotiator in Florida. "With this agreement in place, we can focus all our resources on serving our customers."

Capitalizing on their growing relationship, Verizon and IBEW Local 824 reached a tentative agreement in May, one month before formal negotiations were scheduled to begin in June.

"This contract provides the membership a fair and equitable wage increase and also retains key provisions that were successfully bargained in prior negotiations," said Danny Johnson, business manager, IBEW Local 824. "Our members will continue to have the security provided by our current collective bargaining agreement, which this contract provides."

Ratification required a simple majority of those voting. The new contract will go into effect Aug. 4 and expires July 30, 2005.

In addition, the contract includes:

  • An additional personal holiday, bringing the total to six per year.

  • Benefit enhancements for medical, vision and dental plans.

  • Improvements to sickness disability benefits.

  • An adoption assistance program that provides reimbursement for adoption expenses.

The contract covers employees, principally technicians and service representatives, who provide all aspects of sales and servicing of Verizon's telecommunications products and services in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.