Today at picket lines and rallies up and down the East Coast, Verizon workers and their allies are telling the hugely profitable corporation that they will not allow it to destroy their middle-class jobs.
The workers—members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Electrical Workers (IBEW)—went on strike yesterday after Verizon would not back off from its $1 billion giveback demands. That’s about $20,000 per Verizon family. The strike, says CWA District 1 Vice President Chris Shelton, is:
all about good jobs. Companies like Verizon should be investing in rebuilding the American economy, not contributing to the destruction of good, middle-class jobs.
(Click here for a list of picket sites in the New York and New Jersey area. If you’re in the Washington, D.C., area, join in the rally to support striking workers at noon today at the Chesapeake Complex, 13100 Columbia Pike, Silver Spring.)
It’s been a lucrative four years for Verizon and its CEO Ivan Seidenberg.
The company made $22.5 billion in profits and Seidenberg pocketed some $81 million in total compensation. And in case that’s enough to see him and his wife through their golden years, Verizon has guaranteed them free health care for life.
The profit-rich corporation that took good care of its CEO and top executives wants its 45,000 workers to give back $1 billion in health pension and other contract concessions. Verizon’s demands include outsourcing jobs overseas, gutting pension security, eliminating benefits for workers injured on the job, eliminating job security, slashing paid sick leave and raising health care costs.
CWA and IBEW members say they are prepared to return to work after management demonstrates the willingness to begin bargaining seriously for a fair agreement. If not, CWA and IBEW members and allies will continue the fight. Says IBEW President Edwin Hill:
We cannot stand by while one of the richest, most successful corporations in the world joins the race to decimate the middle class of this country. We remain ready to meet with Verizon to work out a fair agreement, but at this point, we had no choice.
Click here to sign the petition telling Verizon to stop its attack on middle-class jobs and return to the bargaining table. You can also click here to sign and tweet an act.ly petition demanding Verizon drop its outrageous concessionary demands.
To tweet about the strike, use the hashtag #verizonstrike and feel free to direct to @VZLaborfacts.