Verizon, Union Far Apart in Talks

As a contract with Verizon Communications Inc.’s unionized workers is set to expire this Saturday at midnight, the two sides remain far apart, potentially setting the stage for the first strike in 11 years as Verizon seeks some of the biggest concessions in years from its unions.

CWA Local 1103 President Joseph Barca, who represents about 1,000 Verizon workers near Port Chester, N.Y., said he believes workers are headed for a strike unless there is a major change in the tone of negotiations.

“I don’t remember us ever being this far apart,” said Mr. Barca, a 42-year veteran of the company. “This feels a lot like 2000 and that was terrible.” In 2000, the last time workers went on strike, more than 86,000 unionized telecom workers walked off the job for 18 days.

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