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36,000 Verizon workers returned to work on Wednesday, ending a 7 week- long strike against plans by their employer to cut benefits and eliminate jobs.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have signed a new 4-year contract.

Verizon had planned to freeze pensions after 30 years of employment and cut jobs by relocating call centers to Mexico and the Philippines.

“Honestly, I’m not sure there could’ve been a better political climate in which to go on strike,” said Robert Masters, CWA. “There’s so much discussion in the country about corporate greed, the power of the 1%, and income inequality that the messages that we were articulating really resonated in a very, very strong way with the public,” said Masters.

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Robert Master is the Assistant to the Vice President for CWA District One, which represents 140,000 workers from NJ to Maine. Robert was responsible for overall coordination of strike activities over the last 7 weeks. He has been with the union since 1986.