Verizon Union Workers May Go On Strike April 13
Unions representing about 39,000 Verizon workers say they will go on strike Wednesday morning unless a resolution can be reached in the ongoing contract negotiations.
The Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers released a statement Monday saying that employees from Massachusetts to Virginia will go on strike at 6 a.m. Wednesday unless the 10-month contract talks can be resolved.
Verizon workers from the company's wireline business have been in a contract dispute over healthcare costs, retirement benefits and the company's plan to outsource jobs at call centers.
Verizon and the unions began negotiations last June. They've been working without a new contract since Aug. 1.
In a statement, Verizon's wireline network operations president said the company has tried to work with the unions, but that the company also has trained thousands of non-union Verizon employees to make repairs on poles and handle the call centers.
Union workers say the company made $39 billion in profits over the last three yearsm but the company "wants to gut job security protections, contract out more work, offshore jobs to Mexico, the Philippines and other locations and require technicians to work away from home for as long as two months without seeing their families. Verizon is also refusing to negotiate any improvements in wages, benefits or working conditions for Verizon Wireless retail workers, who formed a union in 2014."
The unions claim they have agreed to compromises with their healthcare plans that could save the company hundreds of millions of dollars. The workers are asking for pension increases and they would also like to see Verizon repair problems with the network and build on its FiOS broadband network.
“For months and months, we’ve made every effort to reach a fair agreement at the bargaining table,” Myles Calvey, IBEW Local 2222 business manager and chairman, T-6 Verizon New England said in a statement. “We’ve offered Verizon hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings and yet they still refuse to provide basic job security for workers. We have to take a stand now for our families and every American worker.”