More than 39,000 workers at one of the largest US telecoms have gone on strike, protesting Verizon’s intentions to move jobs offshore, cut benefits and pay low wages. The strikers have been endorsed by Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders.
The walkout started at dawn on Wednesday, affecting wireline operations such as phones and internet services across the Northeast, from Virginia to Massachusetts. Keith Purce, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1101 in New York, told AP, adding the workers were prepared to stay out for “as long as it takes.”
Though Verizon made $5.4 billion in profits over the past three months alone, the company wants to “gut job security protections, contract out more work, offshore jobs to Mexico, the Philippines and other locations and require technicians to work away from home for as long as two months without seeing their families,” the union said in a statement announcing the strike.