WAMU 88.5 : News

Verizon Workers On Strike Over Health Care And Pension Benefits

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From Virginia to Massachusetts tens of thousands of Verizon employees are striking over a contract dispute.

The strike began at midnight, and tomorrow union officials expect a big turnout at rallies and protests along the east coast. Altogether more than 45,000 workers agreed to strike because they say corporate leaders are demanding unfair concessions, including to health care and pension benefits.

Spokeswoman for the Communications Workers of America, Candice Johnson, says it’s unfair for Verizon CEO's to be making multimillion dollar salaries while demanding more from workers.

"Verizon wants to really radically change its health care plan, not sit down with us, as we've tried to, and work out a plan that would be fair and that would actually help maintain quality care while controlling costs but a plan that would cost retirees and workers several thousand dollars more a year," Johnson says.

The strike could impact Verizon customers with land lines and Internet services, though the company says it has trained managers and retirees to fill in for some of the striking workers.

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