45,000 Verizon Workers on Strike
By NBC25 Newsroom
Posted: 08.07.2011 at 5:31 PM
(AP) — Forty-five thousand Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. are on strike as of midnight Sunday.
They chanted, “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”
Union workers walked the picket line in New York City, chanting and marching.
They work for the company’s “wireline” division, and the strike does “not” affect Verizon Wireless.
The group handles landline operations, installations, and internet lines.
The Communication Workers of America called a strike after contract negotiations stalled.
Health care and pension costs appear to be the biggest sticking points.
Striking worker Liam McLaughlin says, “The amount the company presented to us at the bargaining table has been unprecedented. They’re asking pretty much to strip away 50 years of union advancement and bargaining in one swoop. They want it gone.”
A Verizon spokesman says workers want a contract that is “not reflective of the marketplace”, pointing out union employees do not pay toward their health care premiums.
The contract expired at midnight.