Verizon workers give union OK to strike
(07/15/03) WHITE PLAINS - Gathered inside the County Center, thousands of Verizon workers from Westchester and Putnam voted to give their union the authority to call a strike. Workers say they are prepared to walk off the job if a new contract isn't reached by on midnight August 2.
Union officials say the main issues holding up a new deal are health benefits, job security and absentee policies. Verizon representatives say they are in constant negotiations with the union, and they are confident that a deal can be reached by the August 2 deadline.
Verizon workers walked off the job in 1989, 1996, and 2000. During the last Verizon strike, more than 80,000 employees in 12 states along the eastern seaboard walked off the job, including 1,400 workers in Westchester. During the 2000 strike, residents were told to be patient on repair orders and to use the phone book or Internet to find a telephone number.