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45,000 Verizon Workers on Strike

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Credit: Joe Kekeris
Credit: Joe Kekeris

UPDATE: Tomorrow morning, Aug. 8, thousands of striking workers will join mass picket lines and rallies at more than 100 Verizon work locations across New York and New Jersey to push the highly profitable company to back off its sweeping demands. The list of picket lines and rallies is here: http://district1.cwa-union.org/news/entry/verizon_workers_fight_for_middle_class_jobs_-_join_the_picket_line

And in the Washington, D.C., area, you can show your support for striking workers at a mobilization rally Monday at noon at the Chesapeake Complex, 13100 Columbia Pike Silver Spring.

More than 45,000 workers from New England to Virginia went on strike just after midnight today at Verizon Communications. Since bargaining began July 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands. As the contract expired, Verizon, a $100 billion dollar company, was still was looking for $1 billion in concessions from 45,000 workers and families. That’s about $20,000 in givebacks for every family.nearly 100 concessionary proposals remained on the table.

This despite Verizon’s 2011 annualized revenues of $108 billion and net profits of $6 billion. At the same time, Verizon Wireless just paid its parent compny, Vodaphone, a $10 billion dividend. Meanwile, Verizon’s four top executives received $258 mllion over the past four years.

The workers, members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW), say they are striking until Verizon “stops its Wisconsin-style tactics and start bargaining seriously.”

Read updates at www.cwa-union.org/verizon

Verizon already has outsourced some 25,000 jobs. It’s trying to destroy middle-class jobs and the middle-class standard of living that workers have gained over the past 50 years.

Follow the events on Twitter with the hashtag #verizonstrike and direct tweets to @VZLaborfacts.

This blog originally appeared in alf-cio Now Blog on August 7, 2011. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Tula Connell got her first union card while she worked her way through college as a banquet bartender for the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee (represented by a hotel and restaurant local union—the names of the national unions were different then than they are now). With a background in journalism—covering bull roping in Texas and school boards in Virginia—she started working in the labor movement in 1991. Beginning as a writer for SEIU (and OPEIU member), she now blogs under the title of AFL-CIO managing editor.

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