Nearly 40,000 Verizon wireline workers in the Northeast followed through Wednesday with a strike after contract negotiations broke down.
The strike follows 10 months of negotiations between Verizon and employee unions, including the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
In a statement, Verizon said it has “activated its business continuity plans.”
Marc Reed, Verizon’s Chief Administration Officer, called the move to strike “regrettable” in a statement.
“Since last June, we’ve worked diligently to try and reach agreements that would be good for our employees, good for our customers and make the wireline business more successful now and in the future,” Reed said. “Unfortunately, union leaders have their own agenda rooted in the past and are ignoring today’s digital realities. Calling a strike benefits no one, and brings us no closer to resolution.”
For its part, the CWA accuses Verizon of having failed to meet pledges to expand is FiOS broadband, while also looking to move jobs to Mexico and the Philippines.
The Verizon workers involved in the strike have been working without a contract since August 1, 2015.
As part of its continuity plans, Verizon says that starting immediately, trained non-union employees will cover for striking workers to provide customer support.