What's New Action Center Important Links 2015 Bargaining Updates
With Verizon executives refusing to give up demands on offshoring jobs and other devastating cuts, nearly 40,000 Verizon workers are preparing to go on strike on Wednesday at 6:00 am.
The Communications Workers of America made this statement:
“The 39,000 hard-working families at Verizon have made the company successful. Given Verizon’s enormous profitability there is no justification for the company’s continuing demands to destroy good middle-class jobs and offshore work. Workers have negotiated in good faith for ten months and addressed the company’s primary concern, which they told us was limiting health care costs. Workers and the customers who depend on us would be much better served if Verizon returned to the bargaining table and negotiated a fair agreement that fairly addressed the concerns of their workforce.
“Marc Reed and other Verizon executives are trying to rig the system against working families. The question of federal mediation is a distraction to the real problem: Verizon's corporate greed. Historically, federal mediators only get involved in collective bargaining situations with the agreement of both parties. CWA did not authorize anyone at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to approach Verizon about extending the strike date. Either the FMCS acted without authorization or Verizon executive vice president Marc Reed is lying.
“All day today, CWA and IBEW bargaining teams have been available to meet, ready, willing and able to bargain. Where’s Verizon?”
Despite $4.2B in Profits in Last 3 Months, Verizon Wants to Destroy Good Jobs
Oct 20, 2015
In response to today’s Verizon earnings report, CWA, along with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers issued the following statement:
“Yet again, Verizon’s quarterly report shows the strength of the company’s bottom line,” said Bob Master, Assistant to the Vice President, CWA – District 1. “But despite another almost $1.5 billion dollars a month in profits, Verizon continues to ignore millions of consumers who want its high-speed network in both cities and rural areas. At the same time, the company turns its back on its workers, demanding the right to ship even more family-supporting jobs overseas. Verizon should stop stalling and negotiate a fair contract.”
On October 20, Verizon reported profits of $4.2 billion in 3Q 2015 on revenues of $33.2 billion. This is on top of $8.6 billion in the first half of 2015. The company also reported that during the first nine months of 2015 it has paid out nearly $6.4 billion to shareholders in dividends and stock buybacks.
In recent weeks, 13 Northeastern Mayors and the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia sent a letter to Verizon expressing anger at Verizon’s refusal to build its high-speed FiOS network at all in some cities while in others the company fails to meet contractual and legal requirements to complete universal build-outs. The Mayors also expressed concern about Verizon’s treatment of its workforce in ongoing contract negotiations.
The anger has been growing across the East Coast as Verizon systematically refuses to invest in its infrastructure. In a letter to the FCC it admitted that it had only spent $200 million or $3.50 per customer over the last seven years to maintain its copper landline network in eleven states and the District of Columbia. The Communications Workers of America filed letters in six states and Washington, DC calling on them to investigate whether Verizon was neglecting its responsibility.
CWA and IBEW represent 39,000 workers who build, maintain, service and install FiOS and the telephone network, Verizon has not significantly moved off its outrageous initial bargaining demands, made on June 22nd, which include the following proposals:
- Completely eliminating job security and gaining the right to transfer workers at will anywhere in the company’s footprint.
- Increasing workers’ health care costs by thousands of dollars per person, despite the fact that negotiations in 2011-2012 have cut the company’s health care costs by tens of millions of dollars over the life of the past contract.
- Removing restrictions on the company’s right to contract out and offshore union jobs. This comes on top of Verizon’s outsourcing of thousands of jobs in recent years.
- Slashing retirement security.
- Reducing overtime and differential payments.
- Drastically changing the Family Leave Care plan, which provides unpaid leave to care for sick family members or care for a newborn.
- Eliminating the Accident Disability Plan, which provides benefits to workers injured on the job.
At Verizon Wireless, CWA represents about 100 long-time unionized technicians in New York State and 75 retail employees in Brooklyn and Everett, MA. The 65 Brooklyn workers, who are primarily African-American, are the first retail workers to form a union in Verizon Wireless and are seeking a fair first contract. Management is refusing to offer any raises, benefits or improvements to working conditions at the bargaining table for the Brooklyn workers (and also newly-unionized Everett, Massachusetts workers). Verizon Wireless also recently violated workers’ rights by firing their leader, Bianca Cunningham, in order to intimidate the other workers. CWA has filed charges at the National Labor Relations Board and is confident that the charges will be upheld. Any improvements for the newly-union retail workers would set a precedent for the entire company. Verizon Wireless is also refusing to offer fair raises, benefit increases or other improvements for its long-time union technicians, who are now working without a contract.
BRING BIANCA BACK
Bianca organized her coworkers at Verizon Wireless. Now the company has fired her.
In 2014, Bianca and her coworkers in Brooklyn, NY started a movement for their rights at work, which culminated on May 14, 2014 when workers at all six Brooklyn Verizon Wireless stores voted overwhelmingly to join the Communications Workers of America. Another retail store in Everett, Massachusetts quickly followed suit.
Bianca tore down management’s wall between unionized Verizon landline and mostly non-union Verizon Wireless - where, out of a workforce of 79,000, 155 workers are unionized. And for that, the company wanted Bianca gone.
Bianca and her co-workers are fighting for their first contract, alongside the 39,000 Wireline workers whose contract expired on August 1st. Despite $1 billion a month in profits, Verizon refuses to offer any raises, benefits or improvements to working conditions for the retail store workers.
We won’t let the company get away with this. Please sign the petition to save Bianca's job and support a fair contract at Verizon Wireless. *