Verizon Workers In Silver Spring Go On Strike After Negotiations Fail (PHOTOS)
Hundreds of Verizon workers in Silver Spring walked off the job on Wednesday to strike for better benefits. The workers joined nearly 40,000 other Verizon employees along the east coast on the picket lines to fight for better benefits and job security.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA), a union that represents 700,000 workers in the United States and Canada, called for a strike at 6 a.m. on Wednesday. The strike emerged after a ten month negotiation process between Verizon and CWA failed to reach a conclusion. The two parties have been in talks to negotiate wage increases, retirement and health benefits for FiOS internet technicians and workers at call centers.
Verizon’s Chief Administrative Officer, Marc Reed, responded to the strike in a news release.
“It’s regrettable that union leaders have called a strike, a move that hurts all of our employees,” Reed said. “Since last June, we’ve worked diligently to try and reach agreements that would be good for our employees, good for our customers and make the wireline business more successful now and in the future. Unfortunately, union leaders have their own agenda rooted in the past and are ignoring today’s digital realities. Calling a strike benefits no one, and brings us no closer to resolution.”
According to CWA, Verizon workers have been on the job without contracts since negotiations began in August. Latasha Carpenter works as a phone operator at the Verizon call center in Silver Spring. She has been with the company for 26 years.
“This company wants to outsource our jobs and they want to contract the jobs out. Anybody who answers the phones here really doesn’t have a future with the current proposals that they have on the table. Our retirees are being attacked, they want to take away their medical [benefits] and things of that nature. In addition we have technicians out who are being forced to work overtime and they can’t be with their families for hours at a time,” Carpenter said.
CWA and IBEW leaders call strike against Verizon and its customers. https://t.co/ucnolj4A0E
— Verizon News (@VerizonNews) April 13, 2016
— CWA (@CWAUnion) April 13, 2016