45K Verizon workers strike after labor talks fail

Stalled contract negotiations led thousands of workers in Verizon Communication Inc.'s wireline division to go on strike Sunday, potentially affecting landline operations as well as

GARDEN CITY - Stalled contract negotiations led thousands of workers in Verizon Communication Inc.'s wireline division to go on strike Sunday, potentially affecting landline operations as well as installation of services like FiOS, its fiber-optic television and Internet lines.

The contract for the 45,000 employees from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., expired at midnight Saturday with the company and the workers unable to come to terms on issues including health care costs and pensions.

Union workers marched in front of Verizon's headquarters in Garden City after negotiations broke down over a new labor contract. CWA Local 1104 President George Bloom says the contract concessions Verizon has demanded will take the workforce back to 1960s levels of wages, benefits and working conditions.

Verizon says it needs to control costs because of a decline in its non-wireless business.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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