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(VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report

reached a tentative agreement for a five-year contract with two unions representing almost 80,000 employees.

The pact, which still must be ratified by union members, comes about a month after the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers threatened to walk out after their old contract expired. Negotiations continued with the help of federal mediators.

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According to media reports, the contract calls for smaller wage increases than in the expired contract, but a higher degree of job security for the operators and technicians represented by the unions. Verizon reportedly said the wage increase will add $240 million a year to its fixed labor costs, less than the $570 million called for in the old pact.

According to one story, workers will get an immediate cash bonus of 3% once the contract is approved, then receive base wage increases of 2% annually.

Verizon closed Thursday at $36.65, up 40 cents, or about 1%.