PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The president of the Communications Workers of America was in Philadelphia today, visiting with striking Verizon workers.

Outside a Verizon building at 9th and Arch Streets in Chinatown, Larry Cohen walks along the picket line and shakes hands with workers who are wrapping up their first week on strike.

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He says negotiations with Verizon are ongoing but going nowhere.

“There’s basically a list of 100 giveback demands. We’ve said to them, we’ll drop some of our demands if you drop yours.  No, no, they won’t do that.  They only way they’ll drop any of theirs is if our members accept givebacks.  Ask them whether they’ll accept givebacks from a 100-billion-dollar company.”

And a $100-billion company that paid zero in taxes last year, adds Cohen.

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(Credit: Paul Kurtz)

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As the strike drags on, picketers say they remain determined despite the financial drain.

“I’m the only income worker in my family, and I have three children,” says Bill Van Lear, one of the strikers.  “I love working for this company, it’s just I’m hoping we can come to an agreement.”

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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