Thursday, August 11, 2011

Verizon Workers Strike over "Full-Scale Attack" on Wages, Benefits at Telecom Giant

Verizon Workers Strike over "Full-Scale Attack" on Wages, Benefits at Telecom Giant: "Verizon_strike_button

Some 45,000 workers at Verizon have entered their fifth day on strike after negotiations between Verizon and two unions representing the workers broke down when the company attempted to cut health and pension benefits for workers and make it easier to fire workers. The workers on strike are employed in Verizon’s fixed-line division covering landline phones, DSL internet, FiOS, cable TV and internet. Workers at Verizon Wireless are not unionized. Verizon says the benefit cuts are needed because its wireline business has been in decline for more than a decade as more people switch to using cell phones exclusively. But union officials have rejected Verizon’s argument. As the nation’s second-largest U.S. phone carrier, Verizon earned $6.9 billion in net income for the first six months of the year. We speak with Robert Master, spokesperson for Communications Workers of America, one of the unions representing Verizon employees, and with Pamela Galpern, a striking Verizon worker and union activist. "Verizon has basically launched a full-scale attack," says Galpern. "Essentially, the company has said, 'Despite the fact that we're hugely profitable, we are going to take advantage of the economic situation in the company right now to try to roll back the wages, the benefits, the job security of our workers.’" [includes rush transcript]


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