Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Solidarity

Verizon have made $39 billion in profits over the last three years—and $1.8 billion a month in profits over the first three months of 2016.

"More and more, Americans are outraged by what some of the nation's wealthiest corporations have done to working people over the last 30 years, and Verizon is becoming the poster child for everything that people in this country are angry about," said Edward Mooney, vice president of Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 2-13. "This very profitable company wants to push people down."

Up to 40,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia will go on strike at 6 am on Wednesday, 13th, unless the company "reconsiders its shameful, and I do mean shameful, demands," CWA president Chris Shelton has warned. Unionized cable splicers, line technicians, call operators and others represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers made the strike call which will affect workers and customers in New York and New Jersey, as well as Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Verizon said it had trained thousands of non-union scab strike-breaking workers to carry out "virtually every job function handled by our represented workforce," in the event of a strike.

“We’re standing up for working families and standing up to Verizon’s corporate greed,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor. “If a hugely profitable corporation like Verizon can destroy the good family-supporting jobs of highly skilled workers, then no worker in America will be safe from this corporate race to the bottom.” http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/11/protesting-shameful-greed-40000-verizon-workers-set-strike-wednesday

But after trying for ten months to reach a fair contract, "we have to take a stand now for our families and every American worker," explained Myles Calvey,  International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 2222 business manager and chairman of T-6 Verizon New England.

Verizon is "attempting to make devastating cut backs" even after "significant worker concessions on healthcare," including:

1) Offshoring and contracting out even more customer service work to Mexico, the Philippines and other locations.
2) Cutting job security for all workers.
3) Requiring technicians to work away from home for as long as two months, without seeing their families. For anyone trying to balance work and family life, this is impossible.
4) Refusing to negotiate improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions for Verizon Wireless workers, who formed a union with CWA in 2014.
5) Freezing pensions at 30 years of service and forcing retirees to pay extremely high health care costs.

6) Slashing benefits for workers injured on the job.

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