Mitch Ellmauer, Intern, International Labor Rights Forum
On August 7th 45,000 Verizon workers went on strike when the company demanded over a billion dollars in concessions from workers despite receiving $19 billion in profits over the past four years. Almost ten days into the strike, Verizon still refuses to back down from its concessions. Negotiations with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have been stalled since July. The CWA has filed a complaint with the NLRB charging Verizon with refusing to negotiate in good faith with the unions.
The concessions Verizon is asking its employees to make would cost each worker $20,000 per year. Verizon is demanding that workers: pay up healthcare premiums of up to $6,800 per year, surrender their bargaining rights over healthcare, and freeze their pensions. Verizon also wants to deny new hires most of the benefits that current employees now enjoy.
Verizon is asking workers to give up two holidays; including Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The company is also wants to get rid of mandatory overtime restrictions and restrictions on the amount of work it can subcontract to outside employers.
Conceeding to these demands threaten to erase the gains of 50 years of bargaining by the CWA. The strikers need your help!
People all over the country are showing their support by joining picket lines, signing petitions, sending letters to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, and calling Verizon’s headquarters urging the company to negotiate and provide its workers with middle class wages and benefits and safe working conditions.
If you would like join a picket line, all you have to do is find one online here. You can also “Adopt A Store.” If picketing isn’t your thing, you can sign this petition telling Verizon to share its success with its workers.