Verizon Workers Strike Amid Contract Dispute

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 11:52 PM

White House hopeful Bernie Sanders lends his support, accusing Verizon of "trying to demolish the lives of working Americans".

Verizon Workers Strike Amid Contract Dispute

Tens of thousands of Verizon workers from states along the US E Coast have walked off the work amid a contract dispute.

Some 39.000 landline and cable workers have been doing their jobs without a contract since August, union leaders say.

Verizon said it wants to address healthcare issues, citing the rise in medical costs for both retirees and current employees.

But union leaders indict the telecom giant of wanting to freeze pensions, create layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers.

On Wednesday, Verizon workers from nine states and WA DC took to the streets to pressure the company into a deal.

Verizon spokesman Rich Youthful said the company was disappointed that union leaders initiated a walk-out.

He said the unions, "unfortunately, have been unwilling to deal in excellent faith". 

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who's fighting rival Hillary Clinton for union support, appeared at a strike in Brooklyn to lend his voice to the workers.

The VT senator called the contract dispute "just another major American Corp trying to demolish the lives of working Americans".

Verizon, meanwhile, has trained thousands of non-union employees to fill in during the walk-out.

In Philadelphia, about a hundred striking workers shouted, "Go home, scabs!" at non-union replacements showing up to work.

The latest Verizon strike was in two thousand-eleventh and lasted for two weeks.

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