From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
May 5 — The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers confirmed May 5 that it is still reviewing “options” after Verizon Communications Inc. recently canceled health-care benefits for an estimated 39,000 striking workers, including about 10,000 represented by the IBEW.
“We are looking at options for how best to assist our striking members, but have made no decisions at this time,” spokesman Mark Brueggenjohann said in an e-mail to Bloomberg BNA.
The issue of benefits for striking Verizon workers comes after the IBEW did not have a strike fund to assist striking members during the four-month work stoppage at FairPoint Communications Inc. in 2014 (211 DLR A-15, 10/31/14).
As for Verizon, the company May 1 stopped health insurance coverage for strikers, who have been off the job at call centers and installation facilities in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions since April 13 (84 DLR A-8, 5/2/16).
Some industry observers have told Bloomberg BNA that the strike could continue for weeks to come as the company and unions are expected to hold the line on contract demands (83 DLR CC-1, 4/29/16).
The Communications Workers of America, which represents about 29,000 of the strikers, is using a $400 million Members' Relief Fund to supply some wages and health-care benefits for its members, officials have said.
A document obtained by Bloomberg BNA May 5 says the CWA will pay for “necessary” health and dental procedures for the striking Verizon employees and dependents, in addition to providing a portion of weekly wages, payments that rise as the strike continues.
For example, a weekly strike benefit is $200 per week beginning April 27, $300 per week beginning May 11 and $400 per week beginning June 8.
Verizon has said its union-represented employees have a wage and benefit package that averages more than $130,000 a year (141 DLR A-13, 7/23/15).
It wasn't immediately known May 5 if the IBEW is offering similar support for its members. Brueggenjohann May 5 said the union “will not negotiate or discuss strategies in the press.”
Some IBEW locals, however, are urging members to seek health insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), state programs or a spouse's employer-provided insurance, according to websites.
Benefits for strikers have been an issue in some recent work stoppages, including the FairPoint strike that involved 1,500 workers represented by IBEW and another 215 represented by the CWA.
The CWA-represented strikers were covered by the union's Members' Relief Fund. In a Dec. 4, 2014, post on CWA's website, then-CWA District 1 Vice President Chris Shelton urged union members to help the IBEW.
“The IBEW has no strike fund so it is imperative that we approach our members to try and help support both CWA and IBEW members who had the courage to strike,” Shelton said then. “We must ensure that these valiant union members cannot be starved or frozen back to work.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
Text of the CWA strike document is available at http://src.bna.com/eJM.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)