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Verizon Workers Strike as Contract Negotiations Stall

Thousands of East Coast Verizon workers went on strike Wednesday after contract talks stalled.

Striking Verizon workers picket outside a Verizon office on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Albany, N.Y. 

The strike was called by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers that jointly represent employees in such jobs as customer services representatives and network technicians in Verizon's traditional wireline phone operations.

Mike Groll / AP

Verizon workers picket in front of a company facility on April 13, 2016, in New York City. 

Verizon and the unions have been talking since last June over the company's plans to cut healthcare and pension-related benefits over a three-year period. The workers have been without a contract since its agreement expired in August. 

Mark Lennihan / AP

Workers get ready for the strike in the morning on April 13, in New York City.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Verizon workers picket outside one of the company's facilities in Philadelphia on April 13. 

The strike could affect service in Verizon's Fios Internet, telephone and TV services businesses across several East Coast states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

Matt Rourke / AP

A worker holds a megaphone to organize his fellow workers outside a Verizon facility in Philadelphia on April 13.

The unions say Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers. The telecom giant has said there are health care issues that need to be addressed for retirees and current workers because medical costs have grown and the company also wants "greater flexibility" to manage its workers.

Matt Rourke / AP

About a hundred striking workers took to the streets near Verizon’s headquarters in Philadelphia. They chanted "Scabs, go home!" at non-union replacement workers.

Above, Verizon workers picket outside one of the company's facilities in Philadelphia on April 13.

 

Matt Rourke / AP

Between 300 and 400 union members walk a picket line outside a Verizon office in downtown Albany on April 13, where workers set up an inflatable "greedy pig" and rat, said Mike Panzerino, treasurer of CWA Local 1118.

Above, Verizon workers protest in Albany, N.Y. outside the company’s office.

Mike Groll / AP

A woman looks on as Verizon workers picket in front of the company's central office in Washington, on April 13.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. greets a CWA worker as he arrives to join a Verizon workers picket line in Brooklyn, New York on April 13.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Bernie Sanders greets unionized workers striking against Verizon in Brooklyn, New York.

Brian Snyder / Reuters

Hundreds of Verizon workers strike outside of the telecommunications company's Brooklyn offices on April 13 in New York City.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Verizon workers picket outside one of the company's in Philadelphia on April 13.

Matt Rourke / AP