45,000 Verizon Communication workers go on strike


By DEEPTI HAJELA

Associated Press

NEW YORK

Stalled contract negotiations led thousands of workers in Verizon Communication Inc.’s wireline division to go on strike today, potentially affect landline operations as well as installation of services like FiOS, its fiber-optic television and Internet lines.

The contract for the 45,000 employees from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., expired at midnight Saturday with the company and the workers unable to come to terms on issues including health care costs and pensions.

The dispute does not affect the company’s wireless division. Verizon is the nation’s largest wireless carrier.

Verizon employees who are members of the Communication Workers of America union picketed headquarters in New York City today, wearing red and holding signs with messages including “CWA on strike for middle-class jobs.”

Vinnie Galvin, 56, said he and his fellow workers are the backbone of the industry. “Everybody needs to be wired and we’re the people who do that,” said the three-decades-plus veteran of the company.

“They’re trying to bust us. ... This is stuff that it took us 40, 50 years to get.”

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