Almost half the workers in Verizon Communications wireline telecommunications business went on strike yesterday as negotiations for a new labor contract failed.
The strike involves 45,000 workers. It’s the first walk-out that Verizon, one of the two big U.S. telephone network operators, has faced since 2000 — when about 80,000 workers went on strike for about three weeks.
Verizon and two unions -— The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — had been in talks since late June but were still far apart when their contract expired Saturday night.
The workers who went on strike are technicians and customer-support employees in the wireline unit, which provides traditional phone services to homes and businesses in the Northeast as well as high-speed Internet and FiOS television service.