Verizon Reaches Tentative Agreement With IBEW Locals in Illinois

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Verizon and four locals of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have reached a tentative agreement on an unprecedented five-year contract covering about 750 employees in Illinois.

Past contracts with the locals have been for no more than three years.

Employees covered by the tentative agreement provide a range of installation, repair and network functions for Verizon's customers in Illinois. Verizon employs about 1,900 employees in the state.

"Besides fulfilling the company's commitment to providing quality benefits and wages to our employees, this agreement provides stability and certainty for our company's operations and employees in Illinois for an extended period of time," said Mary Darling, Verizon director for labor relations.

Verizon began expedited negotiations with IBEW Locals 21, 51, 196 and 702 on Dec. 1 in an effort to reach an early settlement on a new contract. The current contract expires March 13, 2004. Results of ratification votes by employees on the new tentative agreement are expected by Jan. 16, 2004.

The tentative agreement, reached late Friday (Dec. 12), provides for an 18.5-percent general wage increase over the life of the contract and general enhancements in health care, pension, and holiday programs.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.