Nearly 40,000 unionized Verizon workers are threatening to go on strike starting Wednesday morning, and it looks like Big Red may not be backing down. USA Today reports that the company is prepared for a strike with non-union workers trained and ready to go.
Representatives from the Communication Workers of America union have demanded better pay, improved working conditions, and less outsourcing in their new contracts. The union also pointed to Verizon’s recent profits of over $1 billion per month, adding that some executives may have unreasonably high salaries.
“We’re standing up for working families and standing up to Verizon’s corporate greed,” said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President. “If a hugely profitable corporation like Verizon can destroy the good family-supporting jobs of highly skilled workers, then no worker in America will be safe from this corporate race to the bottom.”
In response, Verizon has pointed to declining landline use, which once made up a significant portion of its profits but now only counts for 29 percent of its revenue. The company says it needs more flexibility as a result. “Union leaders need to realize that there are real issues that will need to be addressed with or without a strike,” Verizon exec Marc Reed told USA Today.
If the strike does happen, it could put Verizon employees out of work, at least temporarily, and potentially affect the company’s service. The two groups still have another day to come to an agreement, though, so it’s possible the issue could still be solved at the last minute.