May 02, 2016 09:09 AM EDT

Verizon Strike 2016 Update: Union Members To Lose Their Jobs?

The Verizon strike 2016 could cost union members to lose their jobs. The protests have continued from Apr. 13 until now.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Denny Strigl, who ran the company's wireless operations until 2009, urged wireless employees to not join a union. It was said that he rushed to Boston after the 2000 merger that formed Verizon Communications Inc.

"We fought it tooth and nail," Strigl said. "There's a mentality that builds up in a unionized workforce that pits the union against its management. And that's not the kind of culture that you want in a new startup."'

This was one of several episodes where Verizon had to keep unions from getting in on its fast-growing wireless business. In turn, this resulted to the company being able to avoid work stoppages and generated about 33 percent of its $132 billion revenue last year.

It was previously reported that the Verizon strike 2016 saw more than 35,000 employees going on strike. It was caused by contract disputes. Employees' protests and picket lines stretched across the Northeast.

Out of the thousands of Verizon employees who went on strike, though, only about 160 were part of the company's wireless unit. Now, as its landline business shrinks, the union may also be losing its influence on the company.

Verizon has already presented a revised and final contract proposal to the unions that represent about 40,000 workers who are on strike. The company has offered a wage increase of 7.5 percent over the term of a new contract.

According to a former employee, if it weren't for a union, it could take years before workers can earn a meaningful wage increase. Bianca Cunningham was fired in September on her "failure to be honest and forthcoming" during an investigation.

Cunningham believed that it was because she helped organize a union with the workers. "We were just trying to fight for ourselves and see some changes," she admitted.

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