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Striking Verizon Workers Threaten Ongoing Protests

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Verizon workers planned demonstrations at more than a dozen locations in the District and Maryland.
Matt Laslo
Verizon workers planned demonstrations at more than a dozen locations in the District and Maryland.

Verizon workers from across the region are preparing for a long, heated battle with their company.

Protesters showed a lot of enthusiasm on the first weekday of the strike, and many say they're ready to hold out for more than a month if that's what it takes to avoid changes to their health care and pension plans.

"We're not asking for anything more, we're asking for what we already have," says Verizon maintenance administrator Vern Joseph. "Their argument that the economy has changed is a weak argument considering that this company is very successful and this company is very profitable. It appears to be that there's a lot of greed on the corporate side."

The workers are mostly from Verizon's land line and Internet service side, but Les Evans, president of the local chapter of the Communications Workers of America, says they’re taking the fight to wireless stores too.

"So we're on strike against Verizon Wireless also," says Evans. "We'll be going after their stores; we'll be picketing their stores. We'll be encouraging their customers to switch, to switch wireless providers until they come to us with a fair agreement."

Workers are also being urged to call Verizon offices repeatedly in order to jam the phone lines at the multi-billion dollar communications company.

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