Verizon Unions Strike After Negotiations For New Contract Failed

At least 45,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) went on strike on Sunday after weeks of negotiations with Verizon Communications for new labor contract failed.

Some 45,000 employees of U.S. wireless giant Verizon Communications went on strike on Sunday after weeks of negotiations for new labor contract failed.

Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) – who have been in talks with Verizon management since late June 2011 – called for a strike after the labor contract expired midnight of Saturday.

CWA said that offers made by Verizon to union members were unacceptable, particularly the contributions to healthcare that increases the deductibles and would make the plan unaffordable for them.

Those who joined the strike were technicians and customer support workers in the company’s wireline business, which provides Internet services and landline phones to residents and businesses in the Northeastern United States.

Marc Reed, Verizon executive vice-president, said that the two sides were unable to come up with an agreement on issues related to pension plans, work rules, and healthcare contributions of workers.

Reed also assured consumers that the strike will not affect its daily operations, noting that it has trained thousands of employees to fill up roles of the workers who went on strike.

To date, the company has over 93,000 workers – of which, some 58,000 were not members of the unions.

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