Verizon customers unhappy with strike
August 19, 2011 (WPVI) -- Hundreds of striking Verizon workers and other union sympathizers jammed onto Race Street outside the company's Philadelphia headquarters.
Two weeks in to it, they're showing no sign of backing down, and neither is Verizon.
In the middle of it all are Verizon customers who are losing patience.
"Because of this we are seriously looking to switch carriers," said Madera Crawford of Ross Associates.
Ross Associates is a marketing and public relations firm in Center City and the internet is their lifeline. They've been without it for a week.
"It's frustrating for us because we come in everyday and the first thing we literally do is go to our emails. We turn on our internet and there's nothing," said Crawford.
Many customers feel similar sentiments.
Nicole Masino lost her internet, phone and cable for what she describes as the worst eight days of her life.
"I'm just kind of trapped. It's a monopoly. It's crippled our whole household," said Masino.
The strike is taking its toll, but Verizon says it is putting thousands of management personnel on the street to handle outages.
The infrastructure has been slammed by record storms over the past two weeks.
Verizon has also called in the FBI to investigate over 200 hundred incidents of alleged sabotage.
The 45,000 striking workers are hanging tough. They say they're fighting to maintain middle class living while Verizon executives make millions.
Verizon is also sticking to its guns, saying that the current contract is based on outdated models from 50 years ago.
According to Verizon, they need concessions to compete and they're asking customers for patience and understanding.
"That's an unacceptable answer at this point. You should have had a better answer than that," said Darisha Miller of Ross Associates.
As customer frustration boils over, Verizon says it continues to bargain in good faith.
The union says they will stay out as long as it takes to keep their jobs and families secure.
new jersey, pennsylvania, philadelphia, verizon, local/state, david henry
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