Verizon isn’t too thrilled with the idea that it’s paying for health insurance benefits for 45,000 striking workers. Thus, the telecom giant has said it will cease funding certain benefits if those employees aren’t back on the job by the end of the month.
A rep for Verizon tells Bloomberg that the striking members of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers unions will lose their health insurance, dental, vision and prescription-drug benefits.
“Verizon is spending many millions of dollars a day providing health care for workers who willingly decided to strike,” said the rep. “If they’re not employed and not working for the company, we’re not going to fund their pensions.”
These benefits are already one of the major sticking points between the unions and Verizon, which is asking employees to contribute more to their benefits payments.
“This is the first time in the history of our negotiations with Verizon that they’ve threatened this much,” a business manager for the IBEW tells Bloomberg about the insurance ultimatum. “It’s a tactic they’re using to try to scare the people.”
Verizon Tells Strikers It Will Suspend Benefits [Bloomberg]