Striking Workers Rally as Contract Negotiations Resume

August 10, 2011 Updated Aug 10, 2011 at 5:36 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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August 10, 2011 Updated Aug 10, 2011 at 5:36 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) A sea of red clad union members and their supporters held a rally outside of Verizon's Franklin Street office in downtown Buffalo Wednesday. Their goal was to send a message to Verizon management.
"Their position was, it's their way or the highway, and that's unacceptable. That's not negotiating. That's picking a fight and that's what they got.", said the president of the local CWA, James Wagner. Union leadership estimates that the Verizon wants to roll back employee benefits that amount to $20,000 dollars per employee. A verizon spokesperson, John Bonomo, says that those numbers are inaccurate and adds that the current benefits package is outdated and doesn't reflect the rapidly changing field of telecommunications.
Meanwhile, contract talks have resumed between Verizon and the two unions representing the 45,000 striking workers, the CWA and the IBEW.