Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders walks the picket line with Verizon protesters in New York, telling them ''you have chosen to stand up for dignity.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders walks the picket line with Verizon protesters in New York on Wednesday (April 13). "You have chosen to stand up for dignity," Sanders told a roaring crowd Nearly 40,000 Verizon Communications Inc workers walked off the job on Wednesday in one of the largest U.S. strikes in recent years after contract talks hit an impasse. The strike was called by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers that jointly represent employees in such jobs as customer services representatives and network technicians in Verizon's traditional wireline phone operations. Verizon and the unions have been talking since last June over the company's plans to cut healthcare and pension-related benefits over a three-year period. The workers have been without a contract since its agreement expired in August. Issues include healthcare, offshoring call centre jobs, work rules and pensions. During his election campaign, Sanders has been a voice for workers' rights and is calling to strengthen trade unions to support the American middle class.