45,000 Verizon workers are currently on the picket lines due to a failed contract negotiation. Now Verizon has said that they will suspend medical benefits to those employees striking at the end of the month. Verizon has already stopped paying on their pensions when their former contract expired on the 6th.
The employees at Verizon are represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and both said Verizon is using “scare tactics.” Verizon is currently asking the workers to pay more for their health insurance benefits while the company itself is very profitable. The unions said:
“This is the first time in the history of our negotiations with Verizon that they’ve threatened this much,” Bill Huber, a business manager for the IBEW, said yesterday after receiving the letter. “It’s a tactic they’re using to try to scare the people.”
Verizon’s statement on the issue is as follows:
“Verizon is spending many millions of dollars a day providing health care for workers who willingly decided to strike,” Young said in an interview yesterday. “If they’re not employed and not working for the company, we’re not going to fund their pensions.”
The strike has gone on now for 11 days and the company has suffered 155 incidents of sabotage and 12 workers even protested outside Verizon Chairman Ivan Seidenberg’s home.