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About 200 Verizon employees protested the company's plan to cut the wages and benefits of union members at the Fairland Avenue entrance of the Verizon building along State Road 29 in Silver Spring on Monday.
Les Evans, president of Communication Workers of America Local 2108, said 45,000 workers from Massachusetts to Virginia are participating in the strike, which began at midnight Saturday.
Evans said strikers will “be on strike one day longer than the company can stand, that's how long we will be out here.”
Sabrina Staley, a Verizon employee who lives in Prince George's County, said the proposed changes would cut more than $20,000 per year from her wages.
Meanwhile, Verizon has trained managers and others in network repairs, customer service and billing to work during the strike.
“The union contracts that expired were a product of a bygone era when our name and our business were different,'' said Verizon spokeswoman Sandra Arnette. “Clearly the unions are trying to deflect attention from the fact that we need to change the cost structure in our wireline business.”