New Jersey based IBEW Local 827 ratifies contract with Verizon

Oct 19, 2012, 16:37 ET from IBEW Local 827

Union to focus efforts on contract enforcement and FiOS build out

EAST WINDSOR, N.J., Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The union representing 5,500 New Jersey workers in the telecommunications field today announced that its membership ratified a contract with Verizon and now plans to focus on forcing the company to live up to the terms of the agreement.

"The ratification vote shows that our members listened to the union's leadership when we told them that this was the best contract we could negotiate with Verizon at this point in time," said IBEW Local 827 President and Business Manager Bill Huber. "They understood that we were facing a perfect storm of negative economic circumstances and that although this was not the best contract we had hoped to achieve, it was one that will allow us to live to continue to fight for our members and the consumers they serve."

Huber went on to say that, in addition to now making sure Verizon lives up to their end of the contract, the union planned to increase pressure on the company to fulfill its promise to New Jersey consumers to complete the build out of the reliable high-speed Internet FiOS service for thousands of New Jersey consumers.

"Now that the contract has been ratified our focus will be on making sure the company lives up to the agreement and stops its counterproductive emphasis on needless disciplinary actions that limit our members' ability to service consumers," said Huber. "We will also be increasing pressure in the legislative and regulatory arenas to force Verizon to live up to the promises it made to New Jersey consumers under the Opportunity New Jersey plan to complete that build out of FiOS using our qualified union work force."

The company's rampant and unfounded disciplinary actions against IBEW Local 827 members threaten not only basic upkeep and improvement of the company's wireline service, but also future build-out of Verizon FiOS – the only all-fiber optic commercial network in America – putting needed investment in high-speed broadband at risk.

"FiOS jobs are wireline jobs and by going to war against its existing work force, Verizon is limiting our ability to build a world-class telecommunications infrastructure," said Huber

IBEW Local 827 has made the needs of consumers a "top priority" and the union wanted to make sure that consumers were being considered when Verizon makes operational changes that diminish much-needed service like copper landlines and FiOS.

"Our members are the ones who make sure that people have dial tone when they pick up their land line phones, access to the internet when they turn on their computers and high definition television, when they access their remotes," said Huber. "We will continue looking out for the best interests of our members and the consumers we serve because corporate decisions like cutting jobs in landline services show that Verizon has abandoned that duty."