Forty-five thousand union workers for Verizon went on strike across the Eastern seaboard at midnight last night after labor negotiations faltered. Communications Workers America says that Verizon is demanding “more than 100 concessions from workers regarding health care, pensions and work rules.” NBC reports more than 50 workers picketed the communications giant’s headquarters at 140 West Street this morning. Verizon management assures that this will cause “limited disruption in service,” so feel free to blame dropped calls on UFOs, the Illuminati or weak Trade Winds — just don’t blame the strike.
Picketers chanted, “What’s disgusting? Union busting” as replacement workers walked into Verizon’s headquarters. Verizon reportedly has asked employees to start contributing to their health care plans, something the company says they didn’t do under the previous labor agreement.
Verizon spokesman Rich Young said, “Tens of thousands of Verizon managers and other personnel have been trained to step in and perform emergency work assignments.” There are no reported service issues so far because of the strike.
Jimmy McMillan–famed politician, evictee and judger of rent being too damn high–was present this morning to lend support to the striking workers. “Verizon’s collective bargaining demands and financial expectations from its workers are too damn high,” is something we imagine he was saying today.