According to a press release put out yesterday by the Communications Workers of America: “After trying for 10 months to reach a fair contract, nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia will go on strike at 6 a.m. on Wed., April 13 if a fair agreement is not reached by then.”

The union further warns that the Verizon strike “will be by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years.”

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also released a similar statement. “The company wants to gut job security protections, contract out more of our work, freeze our pensions at 30 years of service, shutter call centers and offshore the jobs to Mexico and the Philippines,” IBEW charges. “If we don’t accept all of these changes, they will require technicians to work away from home for as long as two months at a time, anywhere in the Verizon footprint, without seeing their families."

“We’ve tried to work with union leaders to reach a deal,” Marc Reed, Verizon’s chief administrative officer, says in a statement. “Verizon has been moving the bargaining process forward, but now union leaders would rather make strike threats than constructively engage at the bargaining table.”

In the event of a strike, Verizon reports it is prepared to still serve customers.

“We do not take strike threats lightly,” Bob Mudge, president of Verizon’s wireline network operations, says. “For more than a year, we’ve been preparing in the event union leaders order our employees to walk off the job. If a strike takes place, whether it’s one day, two weeks or longer, we are ready.”

Mudge adds that the company has trained thousands of non-union employees to carry out job functions handled by its represented workforce from making repairs on poles to responding to inquiries in call centers.

“We know the unions’ strike order will be a hardship and pose challenges for our employees, but as a 24x7 customer service company, our contingency plans are in place and our company will continue to serve those who rely on us,” Mudge says.

CWA notes that last month, 20 U.S. Senators sent a letter to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam calling on him to “act as a responsible corporate citizen and negotiate a fair contract with the employees who make your company’s success possible.” The union also says it is reaching out directly to consumers with a 30-second ad about its claims about the company’s efforts to offshore and relocate jobs

“Verizon is already turning people’s lives upside down by sending us hundreds of miles from home for weeks at a time, and now they want to make it even worse,” Dan Hylton, a technician and CWA member in Roanoke, Va., says. “Technicians on our team have always been happy to volunteer after natural disasters when our customers needed help, but if I was forced away from home for two months, I have no idea what my wife would do. She had back surgery last year, and she needs my help. I just want to do a good job, be there for my family and have a decent life.”

Verizon maintains that it has approached negotiations with “a goal of preserving good jobs while also making critical changes needed to legacy contracts.”

“Verizon’s 36,000 employees covered under these contracts currently have a wage and benefit package that averages more than $130,000 a year. Over 99 percent of these employees support the wireline business which in 2015, contributed about 29 percent of Verizon’s revenue but less than 7 percent of the company’s operating income,” the company states in its release.

“Legacy constraints that may have made sense in the Ma Bell era of phone booths and Princess phones don’t make sense in today’s digital world with high-speed connectivity and dynamic customer demands,” Verizon’s Reed says. “Union leaders need to realize that there are real issues that will need to be addressed with or without a strike.”