Verizon Workers Striking in Coudersport

COUDERSPORT – Approximately half a dozen Verizon linemen and technicians in Coudersport have joined nearly 45,000 nationwide Verizon workers in a strike.

Those on strike in Coudersport are members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) labor union. Among those striking at the Verizon office in Coudersport were workers who service Coudersport, Galeton, Port Allegany, Westfield and other local communities.

Two unions (CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), representing 45,000 Verizon employees, have called for a strike after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract that expired Saturday at midnight.

The unions have said Verizon has failed to make concessions in convincing them they were negotiating in good faith.

When we asked those at the Verizon office in Coudersport what it was they were stiking for, we were told they “wanted nothing new. We simply want to keep our pensions and what is rightfully owed to us.” Workers there told CoudyNews that Verizon is attempting to strip them of their pension plans, benefits and medical insurance. One worker told us Verizon wants to take pension benefits from widowed spouses.

Although Verizon has said the strike should not have much impact upon end-users, stating “limited disruptions in service,” it is likely that internet installations and other responsibilities normally carried out by the strikers, will at least be delayed.

A representative from SpiderWisp, LLC – a Coudersport-based Internet Service Provider – said the strike will delay current DSL internet installations, but by how long, he could not say.

Verizon contends the workers should contribute to health insurance premiums, saying that 130,000 of its 196,000 workers already do. “We’re looking to bring our union more in line with what the rest of the workers pay,” a Verizon spokesman said last week.

How long the strike will last is yet to be determined. In 2000, Verizon members of CWA were on strike for 3 weeks after the union butted heads with Verizon over forced overtime.

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  1. anumbunus says:

    1 never gains what pay he/she lost while on strike

  2. Bada Bing says:

    Looks like a good excuse for a BBQ.

  3. heads up says:

    While you are on a break from holding your signs, stop in next door at the Post Office and ask one of the clerks at the window what their union did to them.

  4. cono says:

    Until ya know what yout talking about ya shouldnt be talking GOOD JOB CWA NO GIVE BACKS

  5. anom says:

    I know what I am talking about. AT the USPS our clerk union sold us down the river. New full-time is 30hr/wk. Increased costs toward healthcare on OUR part. Two-tier wage system for current vs new hirees. SIck/vacation earned for new hirees is far less then current employees.

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