NORFOLK, Va. - Dozens of Verizon workers have not been reporting to work since April 13th. They are on strike trying to send a message to the company.
The union steward for the Norfolk area, Eddie High, said, “we’re not asking for anything crazy we just want to keep the same benefits we have now. The company is profitable and still making money paying the cost, and we pay a certain percentage of our health care and we are not asking for pay raises."
A member of Verizon’s public relations team told News 3 they do not plan to cut healthcare or retirement, but the strikers got a text message on Wednesday saying otherwise.
“It said our benefits and those of our families will end May 1st,” said High. As Lenny Grossmann walked the picket line with his 13 month old daughter, he said, “they’re trying to take away the healthcare and we all have families to provide for and it’s just we want a fair contract that’s all we want.”
Workers said they have also been told the company plans to start sending them away to work for 60 days at a time.
“It effects all of our lives from a regular technician to anyone in the business office. When you have a company that makes this much profit I think it’s fair to ask for a regular lifestyle,” said Grossmann.
High said strikes are being held all over Hampton Roads at garages and cell phone retail stores.
Union spokesmen plan to meet with corporate leaders tomorrow to talk about contracts.