Sunday, August 7, 2011

Verizon Workers Strike Over Labor Contract

Tens of thousands of unionized Verizon workers across the East Coast hit the picket lines after failing to reach a new labor contract Saturday night.

Talks between the company and the Communication Workers of America broke down, leading to a strike from 45,000 workers just after midnight.

Support for the strike swelled in the morning hours as more and more workers gathered outside of the company's headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

Representatives from Verizon said the company’s wireline business is struggling. They’ve asked for concessions on healthcare, pensions and work rules to strengthen the unit.

Workers said the concessions are unjustified because the company remains highly profitable, largely because of its wireless business.

"You're asking me to pay medical benefits, but you're not giving me a decent raise," said Anita Long, a central office technician.

"I understand people are suffering. They're out there out of work, they don't wanna hear we have benefits, they don't, but unfortunately we fought over 100 years ago to have this so when times are bad, when the economy turns, we have something," said Liam McLaughlin, a field technician.

In a statement, Verizon called the job action "regrettable" and said "We will continue to do our part to reach a new contract that reflects today’s economic realities in our wireline business and addresses the needs of all parties.”

Verizon representatives say the company has a contingency plan in place to ensure limited service disruptions for customers.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck to them for standing up for their rights.


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