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Thread: Verizon Communications Workers Strike: 45,000 Union Members Demand Improvements

  1. Editor in Chief
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    #1

    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,
    ...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.
    Here is the union's statement regarding these issues,
    “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,”
    This issue will be the first big challenge for Verizon's newly appointed CEO, Lowell McAdam. His response to the claim was the following,
    "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,"
    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'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
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  3. Master Droid
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    #2
    This is one of the big problems in this country. Top execs rake in all the money when the people doing most of the hard work make nothing. My boss doesn't even know how to do my job, yet she makes quite a bit more then me.
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    #3

    Merging Broken

    Unfortunately, I just learned "the hard way" that merging threads is basically broken and causes more problems than it helps. It probably can work if you don't make a misstep, but I accidentally merged "the wrong direction" and unfortunately you can't "un-merge" so I have reposted this story as a new one. For additional discussions on this topic, you can check out OneTenderRebel's thread on the subject, here: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/dro...go-strike.html.

    Thanks for your patience.
    Last edited by dgstorm; 08-08-2011 at 11:43 AM.
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    oh man I would love to be able to pay $100 for health care benefits. I work for a CA school district and if I were to pay for health benefits for my family (wife and 2 kids), I'd be paying over $1300 a month to the district. I'd be paying about $700 a month for just myself. Honestly, some people cry over things when they actually have it very good.
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    My opinion of the current state of Unions and this strike by Verizon workers:

    At one point in time worker safety, security, and prosperity was ignored by corporations. Unions came along and gave the workers a collective voice which was heard by the corporations and the public at large. This forced reform, especially in manual labor industries.

    Unfortunately, Unions are not "non-profit" organizations, they are for profit. So what started out with good intentions has been slowly corrupted and twisted by greed.

    Collective bargaining should not be a stick used to beat companies until the corporate coffers are empty. What I have seen from Unions, both first hand and through the media, is that people who are already grossly overpaid are leveraging collective bargaining to try and get even more money and benefits, thus dirtying all that Unions are supposed to stand for.

    I would challenge the Union workers of Verizon and the CWA Union to post actual details of what is being "stripped away" instead of blanket statements and Verizon's financials. Just because the company you work for is making money that doesn't mean you are automatically entitled to make more money. This is the type of thinking that causes outsourcing to other countries and the unemployment numbers to rise. Yes, I believe that Unions have had a direct negative impact on unemployment.

    The playing field will never be level or fair. The working class will never make as much as CEOs. But you know what? The only barriers stopping them from getting the education and experience they need to become CEOs themselves are the barriers they have created for themselves.
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    #6
    Verizon has the union in a tight spot. The non-mobile side of the industry has been vomiting jobs like a drunk on Sunday morning. There are a lot of experienced techs out there dying for work. It's a tough time to try to play hard ball, especially when there are hungry companies that are able to provide domestic call center support for far less than the union employees.
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    I don't feel bad for these people at all. $100 for insurance its cheap and being paid based on how well you do your job is how most people are paid.

    Good to know that if I want to be paid well for little work, all I have to do is join a union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pls3399 View Post
    I don't feel bad for these people at all. $100 for insurance its cheap and being paid based on how well you do your job is how most people are paid.

    Good to know that if I want to be paid well for little work, all I have to do is join a union.

    Sent from my DROID2 using DroidForums
    Blanket statements like this just rub me the wrong way. So what you are saying is, because your employer forces you to pay for health care everyone should? If you don't like paying for it, find an employer who will not expect you to pay! Its the same argument as flipping burgers at McDonald's for minimum wage, and then complaining Burger King is paying $1/hour more. Employers across the board will only pay WHAT THEY HAVE TO, not what you would like them to.

    Big Red posted Q2 profit of $1.61B. (Source)
    So, if Big red absorbed the health care costs of those 45,000 employees at $100/week * 52 weeks/year, it would have affected their Q2 profit by $234M, or still left them with a profit margin for Q2 of $1.376B.

    As far as the comment about getting paid well for little work goes, I'll challenge you to do my job for a week and then you can tell me what you think.
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    90% of these guys are useless... Case in point:
    My Father in Law was having problems with his land line. We call Verizon and it takes FOUR techs on FOUR different appointments to get the problem fixed. The first three jackpipes spent five minutes checking at the network interface and told him it was "In the house" where they conveniently "Don't Go".
    After threatening to drop Verizon and go to Comcast they finally get a guy that knows his butt from third base and he finds the problem about a mile down the road on the pole.

    OK I was wrong... based on my experience 75% don't know what they are doing or don't care. Problem is the guy that found the problem is probably ready to retire along with the 25% that know how to fix problems and Verizon customers are soon going to be left with the 75% that CGARA.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dammit View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pls3399 View Post
    I don't feel bad for these people at all. $100 for insurance its cheap and being paid based on how well you do your job is how most people are paid.

    Good to know that if I want to be paid well for little work, all I have to do is join a union.

    Sent from my DROID2 using DroidForums
    Blanket statements like this just rub me the wrong way. So what you are saying is, because your employer forces you to pay for health care everyone should? If you don't like paying for it, find an employer who will not expect you to pay! Its the same argument as flipping burgers at McDonald's for minimum wage, and then complaining Burger King is paying $1/hour more. Employers across the board will only pay WHAT THEY HAVE TO, not what you would like them to.

    Big Red posted Q2 profit of $1.61B. (Source)
    So, if Big red absorbed the health care costs of those 45,000 employees at $100/week * 52 weeks/year, it would have affected their Q2 profit by $234M, or still left them with a profit margin for Q2 of $1.376B.

    As far as the comment about getting paid well for little work goes, I'll challenge you to do my job for a week and then you can tell me what you think.
    Right. Any of these Verizon employees who don't want to pay for insurance should find another job. Where they don't have to pay for insurance.

    My friend was fired, found a job where she doesn't have to pay for health insurance. Okay she doesn't get any, but she doesn't have to pay either... she needed a job and took that one for now.


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