- - Monday, August 8, 2011

STRIKE

Verizon workers hit picket lines along East Coast

NEW YORK — Thousands of striking workers in Verizon Communication Inc.’s land-line division joined picket lines and rallies Monday at company offices from Massachusetts to Virginia, a union official said.

The contract for 45,000 employees expired at midnight Saturday after the company and the workers were unable to come to terms on issues including health care costs and pensions. The dispute does not affect the wireless division at Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless carrier.

Several hundred striking workers demonstrated outside the company’s headquarters in lower Manhattan, most wearing red shirts and chanting, “Union busting, it’s disgusting!” About 60 workers picketed in Brooklyn.

Robert Master, a Communications Workers of America spokesman, said picket lines also were up in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

The striking workers are responsible for maintaining and repairing traditional land lines, as well as installing the company’s fiber-optic FiOS service, he said.

AIR FARES

Airlines begin rolling back fare hikes

DALLAS — Southwest and Delta say they have rolled back last month’s fare increases so that passengers will pay the same price even though federal ticket taxes are being collected again.

Industry observers said Monday that they expect other airlines will go along.

If that happens consumers will pay the same total price for travel instead of seeing increases of around 10 percent on many tickets for travel within the U.S.

Most U.S. airlines raised fares last month after a dispute in Congress caused federal excise taxes to expire. In effect, airlines grabbed the money that previously went to the government instead of passing the tax break to consumers.

Last week, Congress revived the ticket taxes through Sept. 16.

MASSACHUSETTS

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