The wireline workers of telephone giant Verizon Communications Inc went on a strike on Wednesday. The strike was a result of failure to reach an agreement on a labor contract and was called by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and CWA. For the company, it is the largest strike in recent years.
The unions make up of about 40,000 workers which include workers from the TV services, telephone and FiOs Internet. To ensure that services were not disrupted, the company had trained a large number of non union members.
In 2011, a strike was launched by the union workers regarding negotiations in contract. An agreement was reached after about 2 weeks.
The company plans to cut pension and health related benefits to workers over the next three years and talks have been on going regarding these issues from last June.
The last agreement that the Verizon workers had expired in August last year and since then they have been working without a contract. Some of the main issues the workers and the company are faced with include pensions, healthcare, call centre jobs, offshoring and work rules.