April, 13 2016,
36,000 Verizon union workers are set to strike this morning in a battle over wages and benefits. The strike involves East Coast Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia.
The Verizon workers belong to two large unions, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The unions claim that a strike by their 36,000 members will result in “by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years”. CWA President Chris Shelton said, “Verizon has forced us there … Nobody wants to go on strike”. “It’s a hardship for our members and our families, it’s a hardship for customers.”
Verizon claimed in a press statement that they are prepared for the strike, “For more than a year, we’ve been preparing in the event union leaders order our employees to walk off the job. If a strike takes place, whether it’s one day, two weeks or longer, we are ready.”
The workers are involved in Verizon’s wireline business which includes home phone service as well as FiOS. FiOS is Verizon’s wired broadband Internet and home entertainment digital television product. The Verizon strike should not affect Verizon Wireless mobile phone services.
Verizon endured a similar strike in 2011 of 45,000 employees. That strike affected Verizon operations for over two weeks.