Saturday, August 6, 2011

Verizon Hit by Strike -- 45,000 Employees Walk Out

More than 45,000 workers went on strike at Verizon Communications on August 7th as both management and the union held firm to their bargaining positions. Negotiations on a new contract have been on going since June 22. The strike includes workers from New England to Virginia. Verizon Wireless is not affected by the work stoppage.

The Communications Workers of America, which represents Verizon's unionized employees, said the company is seeking " to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families." The CWA pointed to three facts about Verizon's recent financials:

  • Verizon's 2011 annualized revenues are $108 billion and annualized net profits are $6 billion.

  • Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company and Vodafone a $10 billion dividend.

  • Verizon's top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years.

For its part, Verizon said it has a continuity plan in place with tens of thousands of management employees, retirees and others who have been trained to fill the roles and responsibilities of its union-represented wireline workers. Verizon blamed the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for walking away from negotiations. The company emphasizes that any labor deal must "reflect the economic reality" of today's wireline network.
CWA video -- More than 15,000 CWA and IBEW members took to the streets outside Verizon's NYC headquarters at 140 West St. on July 30th .