Dennis Dunn

Dennis Dunn Credit: Joseph Sullivan

Talks between the unions and Verizon will continue in Rye through the weekend as the strike nears its third week, both parties confirmed Friday.

Around 45,000 unionized workers from the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers walked off their jobs after they failed to settle a contract with Verizon two Sundays ago. Medical benefits, pensions and job security language are up for discussion.

Talks between the unions and Verizon began Aug. 10 and have been progressing slowly, with no decision on key demands by both parties, said George Bloom, president of CWA's Local 1104 in Nassau.

"We haven't agreed on anything but we had some positive conversation." Bloom said."

Meanwhile, an incident between a Verizon manager and a union worker in Riverhead Thursday ended in an arrest and a hospital visit.

Dennis Dunn, left, a union member, went to the hospital and Eddie Googe was arrested by Riverhead police and charged with second degree harassment Friday after a physical altercation that sent a union picket to the hospital, said Riverhead Police Det. Timothy Hubbard.

Police said they stopped a vehicle Googe was in a block away from the incident and took him into custody. The incident took place at the Suffolk County National Bank, where Verizon managers and nonunion workers were apparently doing service work.

The picket involved in the altercation was  Dunn,  a member of the Communications Workers of America, Local 1108, chapter president Bob Morrow told Newsday. Dunn was treated at the Peconic Bay Medical Center and released Thursday, Hubbard said.

Googe has been released on an appearance ticket for a September court date, he added.

“We are looking into the allegations and will respond accordingly,” said Verizon spokesman John Bonomo. “Picket lines often present tense and difficult situations, with taunts not uncommon. We don’t tolerate or condone any violent behavior by any employees.”

Bonomo did not answer questions about whether Googe was returning to work.

Photo: Dennis Dunn, member of Communications Workers of America, Local 1108.

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