Verizon set to meet with union on Tuesday

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 09:36:53-04

Verizon and the union reps are expected to return to the bargaining table on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas ‘Tom’ Perez said he met with both sides on Sunday in Washington, D.C. Perez said the parties had an “open, frank and constructive dialog" about finding a way to move forward to resolve the issues and get people back to work.

Close to 40,000 Verizon union workers have been on strike for the last 34 days. Verizon employee Cheri Lema has been walking the picket line from day one. Since she’s not working she has lost her health insurance and the strike has taken a toll on her family’s budget.

“We’re doing less at home. Going places have pretty much ceased. You know, no more pizzas. No more out to dinner. We are kind of living on a shoe string budget,” Lema said.

Many union members like Lema say the strike is worth it. 

"We’ve always been there for storm damage and everything. We worked long hours and this is what we get for it and we’re upset,” Michael Williams said.

Verizon union employees have been without a contract since August 2014. They want the communications company to give them a new contract and ensure them that their jobs won’t go over seas.

“Just give us a fair contract. We worked to build this company up to this profitable company that it is today. We deserve to have respect to keep this company going,” Lema said.