Verizon California CWA union members authorize strike

Verizon's Southern Californian workers aren't happy about how they are being treated, and if a fair contract is not reached soon about 5,500 Southern California-based Verizon technicians that are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union will leave their posts. A strike could affect landline phone service throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Union members working for Verizon California voted overwhelmingly to approve the CWA leadership's authorization to call a strike. CWA's existing contract with the telco expired on March 13 so Verizon California union employees are working under a contract extension.

Although negotiations continue, CWA workers and Verizon California management have not been able to agree on healthcare premiums and a sales commission program that union workers think is unfavorable for workers and customers. In addition, CWA is protesting Verizon's transfer of work performed by union members in Oxnard, Ca. to Tijuana.

"The strike authorization vote demonstrates members' solid support for their bargaining team and their strong determination to achieve a fair settlement with Verizon," said District Vice President Jim Weitkamp in a release. "Verizon can well afford to treat its workers fairly."

Verizon spokesperson Jon Davies pointed out that this latest measure is just another step that the company is taking to come to a mutual agreement with the CWA. "The strike vote is a routine step in the bargaining process," he said. "The company continues to negotiate in good faith to achieve timely and fair agreements. Our expectation is to negotiate new contracts that will continue to provide competitive wage and benefit packages. In the meantime, our employees continue to deliver premiere customer service and remain focused on competing to offer consumers a superior choice in broadband and television services."

For more:
- see the release here

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