Hundreds of Verizon employees from across the region are gathering in Silver Spring this afternoon to demonstrate against the company after contract negotiations fell apart this weekend.
Union officials say they expect a big turnout here and in other cities along the east coast in this second day of the strike against Verizon’s top management.
"There are rallies and picketing and leafleting going on from Virginia to New England, which is Verizon East territory," says Candice Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Communications Workers of America. "Workers are very concerned about what this company is trying to do and decided we have to take a stand."
Tens of thousands of workers have joined the strike because they say the company is demanding more than a hundred concessions in their contract dispute, including such things as worker's health care and pension plans.
Johnson says company leaders are demanding too much from field technicians and call center workers.
"It pays its top executives well, it's a $100 billion company in terms of revenue, and yet it's looking to these 45,000 workers and their families and to make huge changes in their benefits and their lives, really to affect their middle class standard of living," says Johnson.
A call to Verizon's corporate headquarters in New York was not returned.
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