PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Verizon employees went on strike last week after workers and the company failed to agree on a contract, but now the situation is taking an ugly turn with accusations of sabotage.
With the strike in its ninth day, Verizon is making some serious allegations that point to the 40,000 workers who are walking picket lines in five states, including Pennsylvania.
Without directly accusing the union, Verizon says they’re experiencing an unusually high number of vandal attacks.
“You can typically count on one hand the amount of times we see things like this vandalized,” said Raymond McConville, of Verzion. “So, it is very odd that all the sudden, once this begins, we start to see this happening several times a day.”
Verizon sent KDKA pictures of what they say are fiber cables that have been cut. It’s something that Verizon officials claim rarely happens.
Some of the vandalism took place in the Uniontown area.
But a spokesman for the Communications Workers of America claims this is nothing more than a smear campaign by Verizon.
“We would never condone our members to do anything in destroying the network, and we know our members don’t do that,” said CWA District Vice President Ed Mooney. “In our opinion, this is another ploy by the company to put information out there to discredit the unions.”
The same accusations arose in 2011 when Verizon’s workers walked off the job back then.
Meanwhile, the strike continues over a variety of issues and there’s no end in sight. No negotiating sessions have been planned.
About 10 percent of striking workers are in the Pittsburgh area.
The strike affects Verizon’s landline and Internet service, but not wireless. Verizon says it has trained non-union workers to fill in during the strike.