Verizon Faces More Heat From Union After Hurricane Irene

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, Verizon Communications is facing more criticism from one of the unions that led 45,000 workers on strike earlier this month.

Chris Shelton, Communications Workers of American District 1 vice president, told the Huffington Post that Verizon employees are ready, willing and more than able” to work additional hours to repair landline service to thousands of customers in New York State, but he claims the telecommunications company is intent on denying workers overtime as punishment for the strike that ended recently.

A Verizon spokesman, John Bonomo, acknowledged service disruptions but denied that the company is foregoing overtime.

Bonomo told the Post that Verizon suffered no major outages” and that the company had not declared an emergency since traditional landline phone is not as vital as it had been in past years.”

The strike earlier this month by roughly 45,000 Verizon workers was the largest walkout since GM faced 73,000 striking workers in 2007.

Verizon and the unions the CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are still negotiating in order to reach an agreement on a new contract.

The Verizon strikers went back to their jobs a week ago and are still protected under the terms of a contract that officially expired on Aug. 6.

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