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45,000 Verizon workers on strike

(Xinhua)

09:16, August 09, 2011

More than 40 union members wearing red shirts demonstrated outside Verizon corporate headquarters in downtown Manhattan Monday, as the strike by about 45,000 Verizon communications Inc. workers entered the second day.

Negotiations between the unions and Verizon broke down at midnight Saturday and the unions workers went on strike from Boston to Washington D.C. .

At the center of the dispute between telecommunications company and the workers is the issue of benefits and who should pay for them -- particularly when it comes to healthcare coverage.

"Verizon workers are waiting for management to demonstrate that it's ready to bargain," the union said in a statement. "In fact, we're looking for Verizon to stop canceling bargaining sessions that have been scheduled."

Representatives from Verizon said the company's landline business is declining and that they're asking workers to make concessions on things like healthcare, pensions and raises.

The strike, the first at the second-largest U.S. phone carrier in 11 years, may delay service calls and disrupt installations for phone and Web service.

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