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Strike is the largest in U.S. since previous Verizon strike in 2011
Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia went on strike Wednesday morning after failing to reach a new labor agreement with the telecommunications juggernaut.
The 36,000-worker strike is the largest in the U.S. since 2011, when 45,000 Verizon workers walked off the job.
The majority of the workers service the company's landline phone business and FiOS broadband network, CNN reported.
The workers' union, the Communication Workers of America, says it has gone without a contract since August 1, 2015. Union representatives said the strike is also due to Verizon outsourcing jobs overseas and to non-union contractors.
"Verizon's corporate greed isn't just harming workers' families, it's hurting customers as well. Service quality has deteriorated to the point that New York State's Public Service Commission has convened a formal hearing to investigate problems across the Empire State. In the last few weeks, regulators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have launched similar inquiries into Verizon's operations," the union wrote on its website.
A Verizon statement released Wednesday called the walk-off a "strike against Verizon and its customers."
"It's regrettable that union leaders have called a strike, a move that hurts all of our employees," Verizon Chief Administrative Officer Marc Reed wrote in a statement Wednesday. "Since last June, we've worked diligently to try and reach agreements that would be good for our employees, good for our customers and make the wireline business more successful now and in the future. Unfortunately, union leaders have their own agenda rooted in the past and are ignoring today's digital realities. Calling a strike benefits no one, and brings us no closer to resolution."
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