Although unions spoke of significant process in contract negotiations with Verizon as recently as Sunday, they now seem less optimistic about reaching a compromise. Union officials say that some very serous issues have yet to be resolved and a walkout is still possible. The main issues that have yet to be settled are those concerning job security and health care costs. Unions fear that if Verizon is granted the flexibility to reduce and relocate its work force, the company will move jobs to lower-wage, nonunion states.
See Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, August 4, 2003