The 45,000 Verizon Wireline workers that went on strike on August 6 have decided to return to work on Monday, without a new contract and no guarantee of any benefits.

Feeling the pressure from half of all its Wireline workers out on strike, Verizon decided to extend the current contract without a deadline for a new one. Verizon’s Vice President of Human Resources Marc Reed stated, “We agreed to end the strike because we believe that is in the best interest of our customers and our employees.”

The representative unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have agreed to continue working with Verizon to develop a new contract.

They say they have made headway in resolving some regional and local points of contention, but no word on the overall deal-breakers; Verizon wants to freeze pensions and is asking for workers to start contributing to their health insurance premiums (under the current contract, the workers pay nothing for their health benefits). AT&T, the largest telecom company in America, successfully negotiated with its workers in 2009 to contribute to health insurance premiums and some co-pays, without a strike.

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