Verizon Workers Hit Picket Lines From Mass. To Va.

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Thousands of Verizon workers are on strike across the northeast over failed contract negotiations. Raising the question: Can you hear them now?

 Mary Bubala has more.

 Verizon employees on the picket line in Baltimore County join thousands of others across the country.

 In Philadelphia, workers take to the streets. Overnight in Boston, they walk the line in the rain. And in New York, they make some noise.

 Negotiations between their union and Verizon broke down over the weekend.

 “Verizon hasn’t budged one inch,” said one frustrated employee.

 The president of the Communication Workers of America Local 2101 tells WJZ that Verizon is demanding more than 100 concessions that would hurt its pensions and hike the cost of healthcare.

 “This fight is about all of the middle class,” said Bill Dulaney, CWA Local 2101 president. “It’s the biggest gap between the rich and the poor since 1929. We’re not going back there.”

 The strikers all work for the wire line division, which installs the fiber optic system and the land line service that’s shrinking every year as wireless use surges.

 “As our business changes we need to make some hard choices,” said John Bonomo, Verizon spokesman. “We do and the union making some hard choices about keeping this company a successful company.”

 Verizon says it’s been preparing for a possible strike for several months by training its manager employees, retirees and others to fill the rolls of the workers.

 But the company says there will be some delays in services and repairs, and the strike is creating other trouble.

 Baltimore County police arrested half a dozen strikers for disorderly conduct when a car was delayed, getting into the entrance off Old Court.

 The union knows the stakes are high with the two sides far apart. Employees cope with the heat on the picket line and at the bargaining table.

 The strike involves 45,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia. Employees have walked off the job before–in 1989 and in 2000. Both those strikes lasted a couple of weeks.

 The dispute does not affect the wireless division at Verizon.

More from Mary Bubala
Comments

One Comment

  1. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!

    1. Tom says:

      Unions suck, so do you.

  2. T J says:

    WTI OIL TRADING AT $84.28, EXPERTS SAY IF YOUR PAYING MORE THEN $1.75 AT THE PUMP YOUR PAYING TO MUCH, CALL YOUR SENATOR, DON’T CALL, NOTHING HAPPENS KEEP PAYING HIGH PRICES’WISE UP MAKE THE CALL

    1. Tom says:

      You’re not your. Learn English.

  3. MTC says:

    IF I WERE THE CEO OF VERIZON I WOULD HAVE 4 WORDS: YOU ALL ARE FIRED!
    VERIZON EMPLOYEES THAT ARE ON STRIKE SHOULD BE ALL BE FIRED. YOU SHOULD BE THANKFULL THAT YOU HAVE JOBS IN THIS DAY AND AGE. THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS THAT WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR A JOB.

    GOOD JOB VERIZON, DON’T BACK DOWN TO WORTHLESS, SORRY, GREEDY UNIONS! YOU CAN BET THE UNION EMPLOYEES ARE STILL GETTING PAID!

    MY 2 CENTS!

    1. union worker says:

      To MTC you a idiot and you dont know what your talking about we are glad we have a job but we are not going to give back all that we have fought for over the years to a bunch of greedy execs.So if you cant see that then your blind.

      1. MTC says:

        Boooo Hoooo I hope you all get FIRED! Don’t think for a minute that the union cares about you and your family. You bet your a–, they collect their dues every pay check.
        As Donald Trump would say “Your Fired” I hope the CEO makes that same statement to all of the worthless sorry selfish union workers acting like idiots walking around in circles!

        Bet your a==, there are thousands of people waiting for thoes jobs that would be greatfull.

  4. MY2CENTS says:

    VERIZON EMPLOYEES THAT ARE ON STRIKE SHOULD BE ALL BE FIRED. YOU SHOULD BE THANKFULL THAT YOU HAVE JOBS IN THIS DAY AND AGE. THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS THAT WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR A JOB.

    GOOD JOB VERIZON, DON’T BACK DOWN TO WORTHLESS, SORRY, GREEDY UNIONS! YOU CAN BET THE UNION EMPLOYEES ARE STILL GETTING PAID!

    MY 2 CENTS!

  5. THINK FIRST says:

    YOU HAVE NO CLUE OF WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT! SO DO US A FAVOR AND SHUT UP!

    1. MY2CENTS says:

      Ok, I have no clue, lets see there are thousands and thousands of people on the un-employment line and there are thousands of CRY BABIES that work for Verizon that are to STUPID to be thankfull that they have a job in this day and age. VERIZON EMPLOYEES AND THE UNION SHOULD RE-EVALUATED THEIR GAME PLAN, BECAUSE THE GRASS ISN’T GOING TO BE GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE!

      IF I WERE THE CEO I WOULD SAY “YOUR ALL FIRED”

    2. Tom says:

      @Think first – No one takes anybody seriously that uses your in place of you’re or types in all caps. Why don’ YOU think first.

  6. Charles says:

    I wish I had a job at Verizon. There are two sides to every story and I’m not knowledgeable enough to comment.

  7. THINK FIRST says:

    TYPICAL ANSWER!!!!!!!!!! BECAUSE FIRING THE PEOPLE WHO WORK THE HARDEST FOR YOUR COMPANY SOUNDS GOOD!!!!!AND THATS Y UR IGNORANT SELF ISNT A CEO!!!!!!! THINK FIRST!!!!!!

    1. Tom says:

      @Think first – Who says they’re all hard workers? Stop posting.

  8. logic says:

    I have a family member who is a manager at Verizon and he had to leave early Sunday morning to report to New York to pick the the jobs that the workers left. It’s actually a bad situation for all sides. Verizon is trying to make the union workers cut their pensions and start paying for some of their health benefits b/c they say the dept has had a major profit loss (something like from 15 billion to 8 billion, due to landline declining and wireless increasing). So they are saying they simply can’t afford it.

    The union workers are saying they can’t afford to take the loss either, and VZ should still foot the bill b/c even though they took a loss, they are still a billion dollar company. So one side is going to have to give up something, but it seems like neither side wants to.

    1. Laura Kilby-Vise says:

      They say they cannot afford the cost for health care for the employees who save their butts. This is not only about current employees, it’s about retirees who busted thier butts for 30-40 years in hopes of enjoying PART of their lives, many of those who watch their granchildren to help their children out so they can make ends meet. Perhaps the CEO should take a cut of his 20 MILLION/year before stock options…Just a thought. Here’s some more facts and figures for you to consider.

      ‎2010………..Profits:..​……………Tax subsidies:
      GE:…………..5,979,000​,000……3,253,000,000
      Verizon:….. 11,063,000,000….705,000,​000
      Honeywell:.. 1,243,000,000…..482,000,​000
      Dupont:…….949,000,000.​….. 109,000,000

  9. josecanuc says:

    the customer service sucks so bad if i didn’t know they were on strike i’d just think it was the same sorry service i’ve been getting.

    1. Tom says:

      I’ve never had an issue. Get Comcast if you hate it that much, or Dish Network.

    2. nancy t says:

      yea, i’ve never had a problem w/ verizon.. they are FAR better than comcast. if they (verizon) were to get their FIOS business up and surpass comcast, they could actually save their landline dept

      1. Tom says:

        @Nancy – Yep. And Verizon doesn’t have monthly data caps like Comcast does.

  10. Get A Clue says:

    One really important information about this article that is incorrect. Wireless is fed by the wire line plant that is out there now. So if there is a trouble with the fiber/copper than the wireless will be affected. One doesn’t work without the other. So if you think that wireless will work without any troubles guess again. No matter if it AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Cricket etc they all go through Verizon land line at some point. I hope this is resolved so that people that are affected can be restored.

  11. Danny E says:

    it really funny all you people busting on the unions but how little you know (blinders on ) …. yhe CWA actually offered to verizon too let the members work without a contract till they could work out a contract and verizon said hell no we will just lock you all out .. So as far as them wanting to go on strike no they didnt .. I dont work for verizon or any other union company ….my wife does how ever work for them and a lot of her family does or have worked for them and retired ….. and as far as making alot of money no she dont (she is a Maintence admin).

    1. MTC says:

      Because verizon isn’t stupid, what do they care, they shoud just say heck with the worthless sorry strikers, FIRE THEM, then hire people willing to work and be thankfull they have a job today.

      Shame on the Union and the strike workers. You should all be fired!

  12. LaDasha says:

    Fire all of them and give some of those jobs to minorities and women. This would help the inner city poor gain some of the good paying jobs and they would work not strike.

    1. Laura Kilby-Vise says:

      LaDasha, I find your statement rather uninformed. There are plenty of minorities that work for Verizon.

  13. 12vzmore says:

    I have worked for Verizon for 12 years, I voted no strike. I have had other jobs before, with less pay and little benefits. Customer service is a very stressful job. I appreciate my job and would like to get back to it because i have a family to support.
    I think most union members are more than willing to negotiate something.

  14. Dave says:

    So, 45,000 workers are on strike, and VZ has 196,000 workers, according to another article. Seems to me that 151,000 employees are being denied their right to work, AND have to pay union dues (closed shop) to support the minority. The company isn’t 100% right, but get a grip, people, the age of the golden goose is over.

    1. Laura Kilby-Vise says:

      Dave, are they considering the company as a whole? There is also part of wireless that is on strike right now (although not a large part). Those that are not union do have to pay dues, that’s true, however they can get them back at the end of the year if they choose, and they still have a right to representation by the union.

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