45,000 Verizon workers are now on strike. The company is demanding $1 billion in concessions from their workers. If these concessions were to be made Verizon workers could be pushed out of the middle class. According to CWA President Larry Cohen “Our workers are out here on strike to defend their rights to bargain effectively. The company came in with a list of 100 demands six weeks ago. These same hundred demands are here now. Nothing is off the table. We’ve said to them the (CWA) members are ready to go back to work when you bargain seriously.” He went on to say “These workers will stay out until the company bargains seriously. We will then go in and negotiate. The negotiations have been a farce.”
This is the second Verizon strike in 11 years. In 2000 about 87,000 workers were on strike for 18 days, and in 1989 workers were on strike for 17 weeks. As a former Technical Support Representative I can tell you first hand, that a lengthy strike will have a significant impact on Verizon service.
Posted below is a CWA demonstration that took place in Virginia Beach, Virginia on 08/11/2011.
The crowd can be heard chanting “No contract no work!” If Verizon’s management doesn’t smarten up soon, they may find themselves losing more than a billion dollars in worker concessions. It would behoove them to realize that their shortsighted demands may cost them more in the long run. People don’t like being cheated by their employers. Workers deserve an equal days pay for an equals days work. It is high time that corporate fat cats realize that they get what they pay for. If you shortchange your workforce, then you will see the quality of their labor diminish accordingly.
This issue affects all of us whether we are in a union or not. Verizon is large enough to set precedent. If they get away with sticking it to their workers, a similar fate may await the rest of us. I applaud the CWA and their efforts to protect workers, and ultimately the endangered middle class.
What do you think America? Please feel free to share your opinions by leaving a comment.