As the Communications Workers of America strike continued yesterday amid...

As the Communications Workers of America strike continued yesterday amid reports of injuries and sabotage, Nassau police were on hand at a Verizon facility in Hicksville to clear a path for vehicles. (Aug. 8, 2011) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Striking Verizon workers manned picket lines again Monday in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions as union and company officials communicated informally at hotels in Rye in Westchester County and in Philadelphia. But there was no formal bargaining and none scheduled, both sides said.

About 2,700 Verizon employees on Long Iland are among 45,000 workers nationwide who went on strike early Sunday morning.

A Verizon spokesman said the company's last strike, in 2000, lasted 18 days and finalize cost it $40 million.

Verizon and the Communications Workers of America traded accusations of strike-related incidents, a few allegedly involving injuries. Verizon said it repaired "at least 12" acts of sabotage to its communications facilities in four states since Saturday, including fiber optic lines "deliberately cut" in the Bronx, Pomona, Farmingdale and upstate Guilderland. It said, "Some pickets have unlawfully blocked Verizon managers' access to numerous company work centers and garages." CWA spokesman Bob Master said the union is unaware of any incidents of sabotage and added, "We do not condone sabotage of any kind."

In upstate Amherst, outside Buffalo, two pickets said they were hit by a vehicle turning into a Verizon garage Monday morning.

The union also said there were "several incidents" of striking workers on picket lines being "injured, pushed, bumped . . . by Verizon or personal cars, vans or trucks," including one incident in Queens and one in Massapequa, but a local union official said the injury in Massapequa was minor.

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo in Manhattan said the company knows of no "bumping" incidents except for the one in Amherst, but the details of that are not clear.

The CWA, representing about 35,000 of the employees and most in this area, says Verizon is demanding givebacks, mostly in benefits, that would total $1 billion in a year and cost each worker $20,000 -- figures Verizon disputes.

Bonomo said workers in question have "Cadillac" health coverage for which they pay nothing.

The dispute does not affect the wireless division at Verizon. With Wire Services

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