NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (UPI) — The first week of a strike at Verizon ended Friday with thousands of employees walking picket lines at facilities in the northeastern United States.
Officials with the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers say the telecommunications company is demanding concessions that would cost their members as much as $20,000 a year, The New York Times reported. Verizon says that figure is “bogus.”
Verizon wants employees to contribute more for health insurance coverage, although the company and union disagree on how much money is involved. The company also wants to freeze pensions, reduce the number of sick days and completely do away with contractual job security provisions.
“We see this as a definite attack on the middle class, and there’s no justification for it from a company that’s so profitable,” Pam Galpern, a field technician in New York, told the Times.
The strike by 45,000 employees began last Sunday. The two sides have spent little time talking to each other.