Utica, NY (WIBX) - Verizon is responding to some of the issues raised by its union workers, on National Day of Action, about the on-going contract negotiations. Yesterday, members of CWA Local 1126, picketed in front of the Verizon building on Genesee street in Utica. The members say they're still fighting to keep their long-standing contract, which they say is under attack by the company.

Last August, the 50-year-old contract expired and to date, there has been no agreement on a new contract. John Bonomo, is a spokesman for Verizon. He says the rally's that took place across the country yesterday, don't have any impact on the bargaining process. "The only progress towards a new contract can only be achieved in the engagement at the bargaining table--not really at any kind of union rallies, or anything like that, you know, the wire-line side of our business, which has changed dramatically every year, we need to make some meaningful changes to the contracts that we have with our employees in order to be competitive," he said.

He says Verizon union represented employees earn some of the best salaries available and currently pay zero into their monthly healthcare premium. "That's a pretty good deal these days and frankly it's almost unheard off these days, you know, they are the one-percent or there abouts of American workers who receive basically free healthcare," he said. Bonomo also says that the worker's claim that Verizon doesn't pay taxes is false. He says over the past three years, Verizon has paid more than 11-billion dollars in Income, Property and Employment taxes alone. In the meantime, contract negotiations continue.