CWA locals voting on Verizon strike authorization

Verizon has a hornet’s nest on its hands in the form of an angry Communications Workers of America taking a vote to authorize a strike of its 65,000 members on the East Coast if a new contract—the old one expires Aug. 2—can’t be worked out.

The negotiations affect Verizon employees in areas associated with both traditional land line and fiber-fed telecommunications. At issue: Wages, health care, work rules and protection of union jobs are at the forefront of the negotiations for the workers, who say that rising gas and fuel prices have heightened their resolve to secure a contract with fair raises and no give backs on health care.

Verizon’s employees are among a dwindling group of workers that do not have to contribute to health plans and they are determined to hold onto that benefit.

Blogs and chatrooms are abuzz with vitriol aimed at Verizon by employees, union folks and the general public.

Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell says the company is hoping for a contract that is fair to its employees, customers and shareholders.

For more:
- See the AP story
- Or the Crain’s Business story

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