NEW YORK — Striking Verizon employees may be back to work next week after the company and its unions reached an agreement in principle for a four-year contract.

About 39,000 Verizon Communications Inc. landline and cable employees in nine eastern states and Washington, D.C., have been on strike since April. They had been working without a contract since last August.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says the agreement is being written now and will be submitted for approval from union members of Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.