NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Though negotiations are ongoing, union members working for Verizon have authorized a strike.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, thousands of Verizon workers rallied on Barclay Street in the Financial District Saturday morning.

Most of the workers are members of the Communications Workers of America.

One union worker said they’ll fight so they don’t lose ground.

“Just to keep what we already have and not let them to take it away from us because they want more profits,” he said. “(D’Auria: So are you willing to strike for that?) Definitely.”

“They’re not going to stand for the concessionary demands the company has put on the table,” Bob Masters told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

Masters, with the CWA, said 86 percent of the 39,000 workers across the eastern states voted to authorize the strike, Smith reported.

“This is a company that can afford a fair contract. They made $28 billion over the last five years,” Masters said.

But Verizon spokesman John Bonomo said in some areas, Verizon isn’t doing well at all.

“It’s a tough business these days with a lot of competition and it’s something where we need to manage our costs and manage our work force,” he said.

Bonomo said the union turned down a really good contract offer earlier this summer.

“We want to make sure that our employees continue to get the best benefits possible and a good wage,” Bonomo said.

The current contract expires July 31.

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