CWA plans massive Verizon worker rally in New York, IBEW sending members, as contract negotiations continue with Aug.2nd deadline

UPDATED ->It was massive, several thousand CWA and IBEW members rallied outside Verizon headquarters, one main objective, stop subcontracting (7/27/08)

Verizon, who has been screwing it's wireless and business workers who want to join unions, who has taken down a veterans flag which was flown over Iraq and Afghanistan from it's Verizon business office, and has allowed subcontractors who enslaved undocumented workers to do Verizons work, is playing hard ball with it's 65,000 union workers on the East Coast, but these workers have been preemptive and are geared to storm New York with a contigent of workers from all around the East coast tomorrow at Verizon's headquarters.

Verizon, where should I start, first off I gave them the goodbye when they sent their tech support to India for their DSL services in favor of services from Optimum Online, which is also staunchly anti-union, but at least the tech support workers are here in Long Island, New York. Both companies are terrible when it comes to workers rights. In fact Verizon business has been so terrified of union organizing, when union leaflets were making their way around the cubicles and onto the common wall of their office up in Massachusetts, the word came down to remove everything from the walls. One of those items was an American flag, a flag that was flown over Iraq and Afghanistan by employee and Air National Guardsman, Terry Skiest. A co-worker of Skiest's reported that a local manager said that the American flag "could be considered to be propaganda" and "might be offensive to some workers."

AT&T is the only wireless company that is completely unionized

Unfortunately before I knew all this and how staunchly anti-union the company was I was already locked into one of their cell phone plans, that will change in a few months when I switch to AT&T, who when taken over by Cingular, continued with the American Free Choice like card check system of getting union representation, if the workers want to be union, all they need is 50+1% of the workforce to sign cards. Now that's a company for working people, they even have a discounts for union members, from the Union Plus website:

"For union families, AT&T is the clear choice for wireless service. AT&T is the only wireless company that is completely unionized, and that believes that fair treatment of employees is good for business and good for customers.

We urge every union member to make AT&T their wireless provider."

— Larry Cohen, president, Communications Workers of America

The scoop, as far as I've been reading

Verizon and the unions, including CWA and IBEW were in early negotiations as far back as about 1 year ago, the company wouldn't budge on health care issues and the CWA walked out until recently, members have on more than one occasion held preemptive pickets in many areas on the North-East, but according to some updates I've scanned through, there does not seem to be too much progress as of yet and according to Crain's New York, 91% of workers voted to authorize a strike if the negotiations fail. More at IBEW LU 2222

A little note, while awaiting the approval of the city of New York to alow inner city people to get FiOS, a high speed fiber optic system capable of delivering faster internet and a wide array of television programming, being the newest crap that Verizon wants to sling at us. Verizon has neglected their core landline and DSL customers to the point that we have all went on to bigger and better ventures, such as VOiP, the cable system phone service and eliminating the landline in favor of cell service. According to a friend and shop steward in my area, Verizon has not hired a single street utility worker in the last 6 years. Can't wait for FiOS, that should take around=, um, forever.

The Rally in New York

Many CWA workers from around the East coast along with affected IBEW member will gather in New York City at Verizon's headquarters to tell them thay will not back down and settle for less than what they deserve.

From PR Newswire:

Workers to Rally at Verizon Headquarters for Fair Contract

Media Advisory for Saturday, July 26

NEW YORK, July 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A mass rally outside Verizon Communications headquarters on Saturday, July 26 will bring thousands of Verizon workers and supporters to lower Manhattan, pressing Verizon to negotiate a fair contract. CWA President Larry Cohen, Vice Presidents Chris Shelton, District 1; Ron Collins, District 2 and Ed Mooney, District 13, among other speakers, will join the call for fairness for Verizon workers.

Contract negotiations between the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Verizon are continuing; the contract covering 60,000 workers expires at 12:01 am, Aug. 3.

CWA members from New England to Virginia will join the rally, traveling to show their support for the union bargaining team's determination to achieve workers' goals of quality jobs and quality benefits.

What: Rally to support a fair contract at Verizon

When and Where: Saturday, July 26, at 1 pm, 140 West Street, lower Manhattan.

SOURCE Communications Workers of America

More rally information and pictures from IBEW LU 2222:
Members Rallied at the Allens Ave. Garage in Providence, RI on July 24, 2008 as part of our series of "rolling rallies". Rallies will be held on Saturday July 26 in New York City, and will conclude with a massive rally on Thursday July 31 in Boston (185 Franklin Street, 6 PM)


Good luck CWA and IBEW members,
In solidarity
Joe

2 comments:

EmployerReport.com said...

Union Joe:

There is a lengthy (and pointed) reply to your comment on EmployerReport's blog.

Having spent too many years in the union movement, those of us who have seen both sides of the coin, know why EFCA will kill jobs and we will just have to disagree until you see that we're right.

With respect to AT&T, your "100% union" AT&T is not the AT&T of yesteryear and, in fact, is a former RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) that bought the AT&T name when the former (unionized) AT&T could not compete in a deregulated (aka open) market. Blame management, blame Morty Bahr, blame Bush...it doesn't matter--we lost over 100,000 jobs by the time they got to us (by shipping our unionized jobs to Mexico [pre-NAFTA])

Have a good weekend.

Joe638NYC said...

Thanks for stopping bye, AT&T's wireless division is completely union, they used card check methods ala The Employee Free Choice Act and did not interfere in their employees wishes. Some of my reasoning that the Employee Free Choice Act can be found right here on the site, just search for "guns. Bill Moyers also points out in 2 great videos, what the average American is going through in todays world.
Bill Moyers on econimic inequality in LA

and again speaks with a representative of businesses that are for the raising of minimum wage, one of which is COSTCO, which allows their employees freedom of unionization by using EFCA style card check if employees want to be union.
Holly Sklar and American wages.

When it come to blame of why we are in this mess we are in today, I tell everyone to just look in the mirror, we allowed it. For too long we the American citizen have allowed big business through mass media divide, confuse and destroy our country, we helped them through our ignorance and lack of action. Look at where we are today.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country, that goes for women too.

Say yes to a vibrant American middle class, sign the Employee Free Choice Act petition. Put 1 million signatures on the desk of the next President when he takes office, tell them we will not give Multi National Corporations complete control of the working class.

"If we settle for nothing now, we'll settle for nothing later"-Rage Against The Machine

Joe

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