The strike, the first at one of the largest phone carriers in 11 years, may delay service calls and disrupt installations for phone and Web service. Verizon said it has trained more than 40,000 managers and contractors to step into the roles of union workers.
The striking employees currently work for the company’s traditional land line business – which is losing customers to cable providers and mobile phone providers. Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said the company needs concessions from unions because of the division’s customer losses and eroding profitability.
Verizon began negotiating with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in July over terms of a contract to replace one that expired on August 6th. A proposal to change health care benefits is one of the issues to be resolved.
It appears that the workers are ready to “continue fighting” until the two sides can reach an agreement. The unions had called for rallies in more than 100 locations in New York and New Jersey today.
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