Verizon workers strike for new contract

Thousands of Verizon workers on the East Coast walked off the job Wednesday, demanding a better contract.

Nearly 40,000 employees are striking, including a group in Boston that picketed outside Verizon’s offices in Government Center. The striking workers are from two unions – the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Donna Bohan, who has worked for Verizon for 24 years, said their biggest concern is job security.

"It’s just very, very scary for everybody," said Bohan. "They’re trying to move our jobs overseas. This is about retaining the middle class here in America and that’s what this is about for us."

Workers said talks with Verizon have gone nowhere since their contract expired eight months ago. Myles Valvey, of IBEW Local 2222, said Verizon has not met with the workers since last week.

"We didn’t want a strike, we told them that," said Don Trementozzi, president of CWA Local 1400. "We told them we wanted to get a fair contract. Corporate greed has no boundaries and this company has no boundaries at all when it comes to greed."

"Despite Verizon’s good faith efforts to get to new labor contractors, CWA and IBEW leaders unwilling to make an agreement or even seek the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, have called a strike," Verizon said in a statement. The company said customer service remains their priority but the strike could delay installations and repairs.

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