Just over two weeks after returning to work, union employees of Verizon Communications Inc. ratified four-year contracts, the unions said Friday.

Tentative agreements were reached the Friday before Memorial Day in a labor dispute that sent between 37,000 and 39,000 Verizon employees along the East coast to the picket lines for strike that lasted 45 days and caused a backlash against the company on Wall Street.

Voting separately, Communication Workers of America members in the New York-New England region and in the mid-Atlantic and New Jersey overwhelmingly ratified four-year contracts, as did workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in New Jersey, New York and New England.

The contracts primarily affected employees in Verizon's wireline business, although two sets of wireless employees who have joined unions also ratified first contracts.

The ratifications come as Verizon is moving away from its wire-line business. Most of its wireless employees are non-union.

The contracts provide 10.9 percent raises, signing bonuses, promises to hire 1,300 call center workers instead of cutting employment and closing centers, as well as other job security provisions. The unions agreed to changes in health benefits.

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