Local Verizon Picketers Hopeful Over New Negotiations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Verizon Picketers Hopeful Over New Negotiations

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Picket sign outside of Verizon in Salisbury (Photo: WBOC) Picket sign outside of Verizon in Salisbury (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Monday was day 32 of the strike for thousands of Verizon employees, including those picketing outside the company's call center on Mt. Hermon Road in Salisbury.  However, the news of Verizon and union leaders meeting and agreeing on future meetings was welcomed news.

For the men and women on strike along Mt. Hermon Road, they say they have been getting plenty of local support.  And while morale remains high, despite the rough weather recently, union leaders say they are ready for things to be resolved as long as their issues are addressed.

"We're ready to go back to work just like anybody else would be.  We're here to serve this community to its fullest capacity and we're trying to bring jobs here," said Justin Tapia, Executive Vice President of Local 2106.

The list of issues for striking Verizon employees includes the outsourcing of jobs overseas for lower wages.  On the other side, Verizon executives have said there are health care issues with employees that must be resolved before any new contract is agreed upon.  After a meeting between the two sides on Sunday, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said both sides have agreed to talk again on Tuesday.

"We're positive," Tapia said Monday in Salisbury.  "We're looking at the optimistic side of this.  You know, Secretary Perez has stepped in with the U.S. Labor Department and I think it's a good thing.  I think we're going to get what we need to get done with those now in play.  So hopefully we'll see light at the end of the tunnel."

Local union leaders tell WBOC they picket in shifts to ensure people are outside of Verizon sites at seven different locations on Delmarva from opening to closing time each day.  Leaders also say some are on strike outside of Verizon Wireless store locations as well.

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