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Verizon agrees to FMCS mediation to avert strike, plans to invest $300M in Boston

With the deadlinefor a union led strike approaching, VerizonCommunications Inc. has agreed to take assistance from Federal mediatorsin settling the dispute.

Upon being approached by the Federal Mediation & ConciliationService, the company said it is willing to participate in mediation if the unionsextend the strike deadline. However, it is not clear if union leaders are willingto take part in mediation and/or extend the deadline.The company said April 12 that without any firm plans to mediate and delay a strike,the company is ready for work stoppages.

The preparations for strike readiness include the training ofnon-union employees to fill-in for those walking a picket line, as well as reassigningemployees from all parts of the U.S. and all parts of the business.

In other company news, Verizon plans to invest more than $300million over the next six years in Boston.

On April 12, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said that the city haspartnered with Verizon to transform the city's technology infrastructure. Verizonwill be replacing the copper-based infrastructure with a fiber-optic network platformacross Boston. The new network will offer higher speeds and bandwidth.

The project will initially begin this year in Dorchester, WestRoxbury and the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury. Hyde Park, Mattapan as wellas other areas of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain will be next.