Verizon Workers Strike

Published on August 7, 2011
by Greg Bensinger

About 45,000 Verizon Communications Inc. workers walked off the job Sunday after negotiators failed to reach an agreement on a new contract, marking the first strike at the telecommunications giant in 11 years.

Most of the workers — represented by the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers—are in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions and handle the wireline side of Verizon’s business, which faces continuing revenue declines as cable companies poach landline customers and consumers switch to cellphones.

Both sides plan to continue talking but also have prepared themselves for a stoppage. The CAW — the larger of the two Verizon unions — has set up a contingency fund of more than $400 million for the strike, according to union officials. Verizon, meanwhile, has been training nonunion managers to handle customer service calls and network repairs and maintenance.

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