Verizon Communications Workers Strike: 45,000 Union Members Demand Improvements
Verizon Communications just had 45,000 union workers strike on Sunday, August 7th. The workers, who are members of Communications Workers of America Union, are primarily from the land-line division of the company and includes employees from the company's FiOS TV and Internet service. Many of the employees on strike are call center employees, field technicians and cable installers. The strike won't likely effect Verizon Wireless, but the news is worth sharing with you anyway, just in case things spill over.
The issues that brought about this strike have been at the "collective bargaining table" since June 22nd, but have been largely dismissed by Verizon Communications Executives. Here's a quote from the PhoneArena article describing that the union workers take issue with,
Here is the union's statement regarding these issues,
...Verizon's proposed draconian cuts aiming to tie salary to employee performance, concessions on pensions and requiring workers to pay over $100 monthly for health care premiums, contradicted the fact that the company registered profits from its wired network, while Verizon's top five executives compensation amounted to over quarter a billion in the last four years.
This issue will be the first big challenge for Verizon's newly appointed CEO, Lowell McAdam. His response to the claim was the following,
“Since bargaining began on June 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands. 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,”
During the strike Verizon has promised that services won't be disrupted, and is utilizing tens of thousands of non-union workers, working 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week to fill in for the striking workers. Paul Secunda, a Marquette University associate law professor and adviser to Verizon during previous strikes said, "This may be the last big strike we see in the land-line business."
"It is clear that some of the existing contract provisions, negotiated initially when Verizon was under far less competitive pressure, are not in line with the economic realities of business today,"
It's easy to see both sides of the issue. On the one hand, land-line phones are a dying industry, and you can see Verizon Communications' perspective of needing to maximize the efficiency of the business for as long as possible. On the other hand, the company had 2011 annualized revenues of $108 billion and annualized net profits of $6 billion, and Verizon Communications just received a dividend from Verizon Wireless of around $5 Billion dollars. Furthermore, Verizon’s top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years. At what point do you "take care of the people that helped get you there"?
It's a contentious issue, but please share your perspective, calmly and peacefully in the forums. ;)
Source: PhoneArena and WSJ