Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE joined a Verizon picket line in Brooklyn on Wednesday, telling striking workers that the company is “trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”


“Verizon is one of the largest, most profitable corporations in this country, but they refuse to sit down and negotiate a fair contract?” Sanders told the strikers. “Just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”

About 36,000 Verizon workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) walked off their jobs early Wednesday, eight months after their contracts expired. The workers are objecting to proposed cuts to pension benefits and rule changes that would make it easier for Verizon to outsource work.

Sanders also visited a CWA union hall on Tuesday, applauding workers for “standing up to the outrageous greed of Verizon and corporate America.”

“I know that going on strike is not something that’s easily done,” Sanders said, according to The Washington Post. “I know there’s going to be a lot of pain involved. I want to thank you for standing up to the outrageous greed of Verizon and corporate America.”

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam shot back at Sanders Wednesday, challenging him to find another company that does more for the U.S. than Verizon.

“Sen. Sanders is wrong on the facts. More egregiously, he oversimplifies the complex forces operating in today’s technologically advanced and hyper-competitive economy,” McAdam wrote in a statement.

“We deserve better from people aspiring to be President. At the very least, we should demand that candidates base their arguments on the facts … even when they don’t fit their campaign narratives,” he added.

Sanders’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Worries grow as moderates split Democratic vote MORE, also weighed in on the strike, calling on Verizon to “come back to the bargaining table with a fair offer for their workers.”

“Verizon wants to outsource more and more jobs,” Clinton said in a statement. “That would mean walking away from workers who have been part of their family and our communities for years — the workers who install and repair our phone and cable service, and who respond to customer needs day and night.”

The IBEW local in New York City endorsed Clinton on Wednesday, calling her the only credible candidate who stands with the middle-class.