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Verizon employees hold protest rally in US capital

Nearly a thousand striking employees of the Verizon telecommunications company have held a protest march in Washington DC against the US company’s new employment plan.

Protesters then rallied outside of Verizon’s office in the capital city on Thursday.

The walkout is part of a six week action, with the strikers demanding the company pay ‘reasonable’ wages and cover healthcare expenses.

The demonstration was supported by many other unions as well as politicians.

Unions have criticized Verizon’s decision to outsource jobs by moving positions to the Philippines, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Some 40,000 Verizon staff members walked off their jobs countrywide on April 13 in what is considered as the largest strike in the US in many years.

The major striking unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, represent installers, customer service employees, repairmen and other service workers in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC for Verizon’s wireline business, which provides fixed-line phone services and FiOS Internet service, according to AP.

The unions are angry about Verizon’s plan to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers.

The telecom giant has admitted that there are healthcare issues which need to be addressed.

The latest round of industrial action comes as both sides reportedly agreed earlier to return to the bargaining table and continue discussions.

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