by Sarah Mulholland
More than 37,000 Verizon Communications Inc. workers are ready to go on strike Sunday as the second-largest U.S. telephone company continues to negotiate with employee unions over benefits. Contracts with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers expire at midnight Saturday night. The two sides have failed to reach an agreement after almost seven weeks of negotiations, according to a Verizon statement on Friday. A strike would affect landline workers in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. and could delay service calls and disrupt installations for new phone and Internet customers.