Verizon Communications is now dealing with the first strike against the company in 11 years. Today, over 45,000 workers at Verizon are currently not working for Verizon as a strike was called for by the company's unions (the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) on Saturday night. The Wall Street Journal reports that the strike is concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast parts of the US. Most of the workers handle jobs in Verizon's landline phone business as well as its FiOS telephone, TV and Internet service. The wireless division of Verizon is not a part of this strike.
The move to strike came at the end of the union worker's contract with Verizon. Representatives from the unions stated that in talks with Verizon, the company was demanding a number of concessions from its workers that the unions were not willing to give. They included workers paying to contribute to health coverage, freezing current pensions and more. In a statement, Verizon said that the unions broke off talks with the company which the unions deny. Verizon also claims that the company needs to keep costs in check in its wired phone businesses as it loses its market share to wireless phone carriers along with Internet phone companies like Skype and from cable TV companies that now offer phone service.
Verizon claims that it has already set up plans to deal with a possible strike that will "ensure customers experience limited disruption in service during this time.”