45,000 Verizon Workers Go On Strike

Party Rooster

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CAN YOU HEAR US NOW!?! :)

August 7, 2011 02:13pm EST

As Contract Talks Fail, 45,000 Verizon Workers Strike
By Leslie Horn

A fifth of Verizon's workforce has gone on strike on the East Coast after contract negotiations hit a standstill. On Sunday, 45,000 workers from Verizon's wireline division walked off the job, the Associated Press reports.

Verizon is demanding that workers make more than 100 concessions on health care benefits and pension and work rules, the Communications Workers of America told the AP. The CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the two unions on strike, feel that Verizon is asking for far too many concessions. The workers' contract with Verizon expired Saturday night at midnight.

"Since bargaining began on June 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands," the CWA said in a statement released just after midnight. "Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families."

Verizon also issued a statement early Sunday morning. "In anticipation of this development, Verizon has activated a contingency plan to ensure customers experience limited disruption in service during this time."

Verizon has 196,000 workers, 135,000 of which do not belong to a union. Although the unionized workers say Verizon's demands are unfair, Verizon says they're necessary to recoup profits in its wireline business, which includes landlines. While Verizon says its overall business is thriving, it claims the wireline division has faltered as people give up their landlines. The AP says Verizon had 25 million landlines at the close of the second quarter, down a million from the number it had at the end of 2010.

In the negotiations, which have been going on in Philadelphia and New York City, Verizon asked that unionized workers begin contributing to their health care premiums, in amounts that are comparable to what non-union employees pay. According to the New York Times, Verizon has also been freezing pensions for employees and eschewing "traditional pensions" for future staff. It also is trying to put a five-day cap on sick days, which are currently unlimited.

Officials from the unions say these demands are some of the harshest Verizon has ever proposed.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390590,00.asp
Verizon still has a landline division? "whaa"
 
Dec 8, 2004
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They have been selling chunks of it off... here they sold it to Fair Point
 

fletcher

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My buddy is on the picket line, I guess he works in the land line division. I guess thats why is is constantly in young people neighborhoods.
 

Sinn Fein

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#4
The wireless division isn't unionized. Verizon has been working towards making that the case for the entire company. Look at the numbers. 135,000 out of 196,000 are NOT unionized.
 

CousinDave

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Dec 11, 2007
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With unemployment as high as it is, I really think this isn't a good time to go on strike and their boy in the White House probably has more important things to do at this time.

Oh and I own about 1000 shares of Verizon stock (not a part of my mutual funds) gets me almost $2000 a year in dividend income
 

whiskeyguy

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With unemployment as high as it is, I really think this isn't a good time to go on strike and their boy in the White House probably has more important things to do at this time.
This. Make the concessions, or fucking force Verizon to sell it's entire wired division when it's not turning a profit, laying off every single one of those guys.
 
May 24, 2004
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#7
-Some say now is not the time for any union to exert its force. But let's be reality: This might be the last chance unions get to extract benefits from employers before the economy really rolls over.

-Any extra cost Verizon incurs due to union jobs a) gets passed on to the paying customer; b) is mitigated with outsourcing of other stateside jobs.
 

MrAbovePar

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Mar 14, 2005
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#10
Wireline includes anything that is physically connected with a wire.

FiOS, DSL, and telephones are wireline. As are some of the circuits from cell sites back to the offices.

Good luck getting just anyone to service them. You have to have a decent understanding of the technology to actually work on it. Knowing how to use a hammer won't help you run a fusion splicer or fix an air pressure leak.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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I'm going to assume that the union is demanding unreasonable shit?

Sent from my HTC Glacier using Tapatalk
 
Dec 8, 2004
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I'm going to assume that the union is demanding unreasonable shit?

Sent from my HTC Glacier using Tapatalk
From the unions website...

Company Refuses to Bargain Seriously, Verizon Proposals Would Take Workers Back Decades

Washington, D.C. -- More than 45,000 workers are on strike today at Verizon Communications. Bargaining continues. Since bargaining began on June 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands. As the contract expired, nearly 100 concessionary company proposals remained on the table.

As a result, CWA and IBEW have decided to take the unprecedented step of striking until Verizon stops its Wisconsin-style tactics and starts bargaining seriously.

Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families.

CWA and IBEW members are prepared to return to work when management demonstrates the willingness to begin bargaining seriously for a fair agreement. If not, CWA and IBEW members and allies will continue the fight.

Verizon financials

2011 annualized revenues are $108 billion and annualized net profits are $6 billion.
Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company and Vodaphone a $10 billion dividend.
Verizon’s top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years.

The contract covers 45,000 members of CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from New England to Virginia.

Read updates at www.cwa-union.org/verizon
Link

Guess they don't want to loose what they have...
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Guess they don't want to loose what they have...
Sort of like state workers that refuse to pay for just a small portion of their own health care?

Also listing the pay of the executives is a dead giveaway that they're going for the class warfare angle, which is always a sign that they're in the wrong.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#14
Well what I found from other sites... was they want to take about $20k of benefits away... of course there isn't a list anywhere.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Well what I found from other sites... was they want to take about $20k of benefits away... of course there isn't a list anywhere.
It's all relative. If they have $120k in benefits, that's reasonable. If they have $21k in benefits, it's worth striking over. Not all unions are created equal, so maybe there's a legit dispute here. I refuse to deal with any branch of Verizon, so I'll let them sort this one out on their own.
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
Here's the situation. The land line division is not profitable enough for Verizon. In order for it to remain a viable investment, Verizon has to increase profits in that division... sometimes the only way to do this is cut labor costs. At least these people still have a job, which they absolutely wont if Verizon says "fuck it" and liquidates the entire division.

The fact that they actually hinted that Verizon's other divisions (such as wireless) should carry the land line division shows how little they understand about business.
 

DoughBoy

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Jul 28, 2003
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#17
Their customer service sucks, their pricing sucks, and their people suck. Now they go on strike? Sounds like a good time for management to hire some of those unemployed who are looking so hard for work. I'm sure they won't be bitching about how terrible it is to get a paycheck.