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Verizon Contract Talks Stalled As Union Rejects Company's Latest Offer

Informational pickets continue daily outside a Verizon store on Boston Post Road (Route 1) in Port Chester. Union officials said Tuesday that they rejected Verizon's latest offer -- which they said remains unchanged since the beginning of talks.
Informational pickets continue daily outside a Verizon store on Boston Post Road (Route 1) in Port Chester. Union officials said Tuesday that they rejected Verizon's latest offer -- which they said remains unchanged since the beginning of talks. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Verizon workers strike in the rain in Mohegan Lake.
Verizon workers strike in the rain in Mohegan Lake. Photo Credit: Carol Arrucci
Verizon workers picket in Port Chester.
Verizon workers picket in Port Chester. Photo Credit: Stephanie Lombardo

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- No end is expected soon in the walkout of nearly 40,000 Verizon line workers, union officials said Tuesday.

The workers’ contract expired on Aug. 2, 2015, and a strike began on April 13 including about 1,500 Verizon union employees in Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess counties. Thousands of Verizon and electrical union workers also are on strike in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Union officials said Tuesday they have rejected management's last contract offer -- which has remain unchanged , according to Anthony Pugliese, vice president for Local 1103 of the Communications Workers of America AFL-CIO.

Still on the negotiating table -- and unaccetable to the unions -- according to Pugliese are these Verizon demands:

• Close five call centers which would lead to offshore jobs.

• Expand contracting out union work including the most basic work of replacement of poles.

• Eliminate job security unless they company receives concessions on transfer language and retiree incentives.

• Reduce disability benefits for an aging union workforce.

• Freeze pensions at 30 years.

The workers are members of two unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. About 8,000 IBEW workers are striking in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Verizon strikers include installers, customer service employees, repairmen and other service workers in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., for Verizon's wireline business, which provides fixed-line phone services and FiOS Internet service.

Most of the striking workers service the company's landline phone business and FiOS broadband network -- not the much larger Verizon Wireless network.

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