45,000 Verizon Workers Go On Strike

By WBNG News

45,000 Verizon Workers Go On Strike

August 7, 2011 Updated Aug 7, 2011 at 9:52 AM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) Thousands of unioned Verizon workers are on strike after a new contract is not agreed upon.

The Communications Workers of America says talks stalled Saturday night as Verizon demanded nearly 100 concessions from workers. This with health care and pensions within the contracts.

Contracts for 45,000 Verizon employees expired Saturday.

Mark Reed, Verizon's Executive Vice President of Human Relations, said in a statement, "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."

He called the union's decision to strike, "regrettable" for customers and its employees.

On Thursday, nearly 40 local workers staged a rally outside Verizon on Henry Street in Binghamton.

Local Communications Workers of America 1111 was there as well as members from the local IBEW union.

Jake Lake, Associate Vice President of CWA 1111, told Action News, Verizon is looking to take out job security language in its contract, by eliminating pension for future employees, and outsourcing more jobs overseas.

There are 80 members in the CWA Local 1111.

They work for Verizon in everything from customer relations, to repair technicians to linemen to switchboard operators.

In a statement Sunday the CWA says, "CWA and IBEW members are prepared to return to work when management demonstrates the willingness to begin bargaining seriously for a fair agreement. If not, CWA and IBEW members and allies will continue the fight."

The contract covers 45,000 members of CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from New England to Virginia.

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