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July 18, 2003
Verizon to Rehire About 3,400 Laid-Off Workers
Verizon Communications said on Tuesday that it would rehire 1,100 more laid-off workers in the Northeast than an arbitrator ordered last week.

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The Associated Press reports that last week an arbitrator ordered the company to rehire about 2,300 workers in New York that it improperly terminated. The arbitrator found that the layoffs violated a union contract. The decision covered employees in New York.

The company said it would rehire an additional 1,100 employees in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England, a move the news agency says the company could have used to preempt similar rulings in other states.

"We disagree with that ruling, but nonetheless, Verizon was directed to rehire workers in New York," Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe wrote in an email. "Now, we have voluntarily decided to no longer contest union grievances over layoffs in the other states. So we will rehire workers laid off in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England as well."

The reinstated employees will receive back wages, minus severance and unemployment benefits they received, according to the news agency.

The news agency notes that the arbitration decision comes just a few weeks before a contract covering about 75,000 employees is set to expire.

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