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Verizon, unions reach tentative contract

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NEW YORK (AP) - Verizon and unions representing 43,000 employees have reached tentative, three-year agreements covering job security, retirement and other issues.

As the agreements were being signed Wednesday, Verizon Communications Inc. called them "fair and balanced."

The pact comes more than a year after Verizon workers took part in a two-week strike amid tense negotiations. The company and the unions had disagreed on health care benefits, pensions, and work rules.

The unions involved are the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

CWA, which represents 34,000 Verizon workers from Virginia to Massachusetts, said the previous contract expired in August 2011. The union says the new contract preserves existing job security language prohibiting layoffs for those hired before 2003. It also preserves the pension plan for current workers.

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