Potential Verizon Strike Set to Disrupt Lives of Non-Union Workers

If no contract agreement can be reached and Verizon union workers decide to go on strike on or after Aug. 6, a lot of the burden will fall on non-union workers called in from other states.

Take for example, North Carolina, which has the fewest number of Verizon employees who are represented by a union. As many as 200 of the 1,800 workers at the Verizon Business complex in Cary, N.C., are on standby to go to New York and other states where there could be a work stoppage, reported. They would reportedly fill in for striking workers in a number of different jobs.

Last week, Verizon employees represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) overwhelmingly approved a strike if talks dont produce conditions they like. At the heart of the debate is healthcare, which union reps say Verizon wants to gut.” The company has said it only wants union workers to contribute upfront for healthcare like other employees.

The CWA represents 45,000 workers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions that would be affected by a work stoppage. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which represents almost 13,000 workers in the area, has also voted to authorize a strike if necessary.

The union can still to choose to honor the existing contract and extend negotiations before Sundays deadline arrives, avoiding a strike for the time being. The CWA went on strike back in 2000, but avoided the picket lines in 2003 and 2008, the last time they voted to authorize a strike.

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