Two of Verizon’s largest unions are on strike, affecting hundreds of workers across Long Island and thousands across the East Coast. But with such a major strike, many locals are left wondering why it happened and how it could affect them.
With that in mind, here are five thing to know about the strike.
1. Around 45,000 East Coast workers forVerizon Communications went on strike Sunday after contract negotiations that began on June 22 fell apart. Workers say concessions they were asked to make regarding health care and pensions were not fair given how much money the company takes in – revenue was $27.8 billion in the second quarter. Verizon says the bulk of its revenue is coming from its wireless division, not the land line telephone, FiOS television and Internet products that the union workers serve. We’re curious, have you cut the land line?
2. The strike does not affect Verizon Wireless stores or service. It is a separate division of the company.
3. Workers are picketing at local dispatch garage and Verizon stores; here's a video of and a
4. Verizon says it has trained retirees and managers to handle repair calls, installations and new orders during the strike. But workers we’ve spoken to at picket sites believe there is no way the temps can cover the same amount of work done by the striking workers. That remains to be seen, but if you’re having trouble getting any kind of service from Verizon, let us know.
5. In Northern Suffolk, Town of Smithtown residents have full access to Verizon FiOS services, including television, but aside from a few villages, Town of Brookhaven residents cannot get FiOS since the town and the tech company never settled on a franchise agreement. In those areas, DSL Internet and land line are the only affected services.