Verizon workers prepare to strike amid contract dispute

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.