After meeting in Washington with U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez Tuesday, management and union leaders involved in the Verizon labor dispute agreed to accept the assistance of federal mediator Allison Beck in ongoing contract negotiations. Discussions will continue in Washington under the auspices of the Labor Department.

An estimated 36,000 to 39,000 Verizon workers, members of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have been on strike since April 13.

All parties agreed not to make any public statements during the talks.