35,000 Verizon workers could strike over contract

By the Associated Press | August 6, 2011 | 11:15 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 35,000 unionized Verizon Communications workers could go on strike after midnight if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a new labor contract.

The Communications Workers of America says negotiations in Philadelphia and New York stalled Saturday night after Verizon continued to demand more than 100 concessions from workers.

Verizon spokesman Rich Young says the company is negotiating "in good faith" to reach an agreement that "balances the needs of all parties."

The contract that expires midnight Saturday covers 45,000 workers, including 10,000 represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

CWA says the concessions are unjustified, given that Verizon is highly profitable — the company's revenue rose 2.8 percent to $27.5 billion in the second quarter. Its growth was largely attributed to its wireless business.