Workers end Puerto Rico telephone strike

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico (AP) — After failing to stop the privatization of Puerto Rico’s telephone company, some 6,400 telephone workers voted Tuesday to end a 41-day-old strike.
They will report to work today.
Weeks of protests, service outages, an airport blockade and sabotage of phone lines failed to get Gov. Pedro Rossello to reverse his decision to sell Puerto Rico Telephone Co. for $2 billion to investors led by GTE Corp.
Under the strike-ending agreement, workers will receive a letter of reprimand that will be removed from their personnel files in six months.
The government pledged to forgo any legal action against the unions, but it will pursue criminal cases against strikers found to have sabotaged phone lines. The sabotage left thousands of customers without service.
GTE, based in Stamford, Conn., says it will guarantee all workers their jobs for at least three years. The sale must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission.