The Latest: Verizon: Disappointed that union calls strike

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a strike by tens of thousands of Verizon landline and cable workers whose contract expired in August (all times local):

6:40 a.m.

A spokesman for Verizon says the company is very disappointed that union leadership has called a strike.

Spokesman Rich Young says Verizon has been trying to work with union leadership for the past few months to come up with a fair contract. He says "unfortunately, they have been unwilling to negotiate in good faith and have now called this job action."

About 39,000 workers walked out Wednesday morning.

Young says Verizon has trained thousands of non-union workers to fill in for the striking workers.

He says "we will be there for our customers."

Young says the unions' talk about offshoring jobs and cutting jobs is "absolute nonsense. These contracts have provisions that were put in place decades ago. They need to be modernized. They need to take a look at where the business stands in 2016."

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6:05 a.m.

Tens of thousands of Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast have walked off the job after working without a contract since August.

The strike Wednesday morning involves about 39,000 members of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in nine eastern states and Washington, D.C.

The unions say they're striking because Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers.

The telecom giant has said there are health care issues that need to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs have grown.

Verizon Communications Inc. says it has trained thousands of non-union employees to fill in during the strike.

The last Verizon strike was in 2011 and lasted for two weeks.

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1 a.m.

About 39,000 Verizon landline and cable workers in nine eastern states and Washington, D.C., are expected to walk off the job after working without a contract since August.

The workers, members of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, plan to strike Wednesday morning. They have said contract negotiations have been unsuccessful.

The unions say Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers.

The telecom giant has said there are health care issues that need to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs have grown.

Verizon Communications Inc., says it has trained thousands of non-union employees to fill in if the strike takes place,

The last Verizon strike was in 2011 and lasted for two weeks.