August 9, 1998
Susan Kraus, (212) 395-0500
NEW YORK -- Today's 12:01 a.m. deadline has passed on contracts with Bell Atlantic employees represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The CWA has called a strike, and the IBEW in New England is extending its contract and continuing to work. The following is a statement from Bell Atlantic:
Although the midnight deadline has passed, Bell Atlantic stands ready to continue negotiations with the CWA. At the same time, contingency plans have been initiated for managers to report to work this morning to do everything possible to minimize any impact on our customers.
Our managers are ready to meet customer needs. We will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to continue to provide the best possible service. We stand ready to continue bargaining and to end this strike immediately.
In the meantime, the IBEW in New England has agreed to extend its current contract and will continue to report to work for an indefinite period as negotiations on a new contract continue. The IBEW represents 13,500 workers in the New England area; the CWA represents 73,000 employees throughout the Bell Atlantic region.